Goa: Tourism Dept Flags Off Pay Parking At Colva, But Turns Blind Eye To Illegalities On Beach

Goa: Tourism Dept Flags Off Pay Parking At Colva, But Turns Blind Eye To Illegalities On Beach

Shore crowded, but visitors throw pointed questions at Tourism Department.

THE GOAN NETWORKUpdated: Monday, December 18, 2023, 07:09 PM IST
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Visitors' behaviour at Colva beach goes unabated | The Goan Network

Margao: Every inch of the sprawling parking lot at the Colva beach square – which is eyed by the Tourism Department to introduce the controversial pay parking, was occupied by vehicles as the world famous beach played host to a record crowd on Sunday.

Some of the visitors seemed to have no idea of the Tourism Department’s plan to levy parking charges on vehicles. But, those aware of the Tourism Department’s plans were seething with anger, as they slammed the government for its plan to kill tourism in Colva.

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In fact, a couple of visitors, who returned on shore after some spending time on the beach with family members, felt the Tourism Department would do well to stop the migrant hawkers and the stray dogs posing nuisance to the visitors, painting a bad image of the iconic beach. “Instead of trying to generate revenue from the vehicles parked at the beach square, the Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte should honour his promise to crack a whip against the illegal migrant hawkers soliciting customers without fear of the law enforcing agencies,” remarked a visitor from Margao.

He added: “We have been visiting Colva almost every Sunday with our families. What is the Tourism Minister trying to achieve by introducing pay parking. The Chief Minister should dump the proposal in the waste paper bin.”

Indeed, a visit to the Colva beach on Sunday evening saw a huge crowd of visitors, both locals and domestic tourists, spending time with families, including children. In fact, speakers at the extra-ordinary meeting of the Colva gram sabha held last week had precisely pointed out whether Colva will play host to the visitors if their vehicles are charged parking fees by the government.

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Illegal hawkers brisk business issue goes unabated

That’s not all. The migrant hawkers seemed having a field day at the beach with no law enforcing agencies around to crack a whip against the illegal activity. A local Colva resident wondered why successive Tourism Ministers have failed to rein in on the migrant hawkers at Colva beach despite promises galore. “When incumbent Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte had visited Colva last year, he had promised action against the hawkers. His predecessor, Manohar Ajgaonkar had promised similar action, but the hawkers had escaped the law for reasons best known to the Tourism Department,” the local remarked.

Stray dogs seemed to have made Colva beach their second home. With shacks reopening for the new season after a long delay by the government in allotting the beach shacks, stray dogs too have made their presence felt in a big way. Concern expressed by the locals over the increasing presence of stray dogs on beach seemed to have remained unaddressed till date.

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