Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar informed State Legislative Assembly on Thursday that Tourim Department was concerned about the increasing number of tourists’ deaths due to drowning in rough sea during monsoon season this year which has witnessed 15 persons loosing their lives since May this year.
As per the written reply tabled in the House in response to a question raised by BJP MLA Rajesh Petnekar, out of total 15 incidents, 2 each took place in Panaji, Colva and Anjuna, one in Canacona, eight in Calangute.
The minister said government had awarded the work of the Beach Lifeguarding and Water Safety Services to Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd Mumbai to prevent drowning of tourists/swimmers in the coastal water at 41 beaches across the State of Goa and two inland water bodies namely Dudhsagar Waterfall and Mayem Lake.
“The contractor has been deploying more than 600 trained lifeguards and 111 Night Patrolmen for night patrolling. Government has also created a Tourist Police Unit headed by the Superintendent of Police (Tourist), and comprising of two Deputy Superintendant of Police, one in each District, Police Inspectors and six PSIs and has further deployed more than 90 IRB personnel at various beaches across the State of Goa to check on the illegalities and assist the tourists in times of distress. Of late, Government has authorized Superintendant of Police (North) to ply motorcycles on various beaches in North Goa for patrolling purpose,” he said.
The Department of Tourism had also posted 51 Tourist Wardens, three Supervisors on the beaches of North and South Goa to check on the illegalities on the beaches and to assist the tourists, he said, adding in order to examine various issues such as drowning incidents on the beaches, illegal operation of vendors on the beaches, consumption of liquor on the beaches etc, the Government had constituted a Committee to recommend safety and precautionary measures so as to ensure that no un-toward incident occurred due to the uncontrolled activities, and the Committee had recommended various suggestions which were being examined for further implementation.