Goa: Govt allays fear on water sports operations’ digitalisation

Goa: Govt allays fear on water sports operations’ digitalisation

Without taking names, a visibly agitated Rohan Khaunte directed his ire at some MLAs for what he termed as misguiding the water sports operators and other stakeholders on digitalisation of services.

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Saturday, March 18, 2023, 03:59 PM IST
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Asserting the digitalisation of water sports operations will keep touts at bay and ensure more income for the traditional tourism stakeholders, Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte on Friday said touts have made big inroads into the tourism business, right from water sports, to dance bars and prostitution and other illegal activities.

Without taking names, a visibly agitated Rohan Khaunte directed his ire at some MLAs for what he termed as misguiding the water sports operators and other stakeholders on digitalisation of services.

Allaying fears of the water sports operators that introduction of Goa Electronics Ltd (GEL) to regulate water sports business is a step to privatise the business carried out by the traditional Goan people, Khaunte said this will never happen, saying he is even ready to give in writing that water sports will remain with the Goans, but with regulation.

After water sports operators from Salcete coastal belt called on him with Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas at the Matanhy Saldanha complex during his Administration to the doorsteps programme, wherein they red flagged introduction of GEL to regulate the water sports business, the Tourism Minister said the Tourism Department is moved in to regulate the water sports business as per the High Court directions. He sought to reassure the water sports operators that Rohan Khaunte will stand by him to protect their business and take it forward through regulation.

Khaunte, however, said he would not tolerate the illegal touts in water sports, overcharging the tourists and also making a dent in the revenue of the water sports operators. “These touts are into water sports business, guide the tourists into dance bars and help the tourists towards prostitution. Their illegal activities have brought bad name for Goa. We have to stop this with a heavy hand,” he said, adding that action against the touts will also increase the income of the water sports operators.

He, however, lamented that MLAs are misguiding the water sport operators, by instilling fears and apprehensions that GEL would take over the business. He sounded a warning that water sports activities have starred in Malwan in neighbouring Maharashtra, while stressing on the need to regulate the business in the State.

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