While the new year 2021 was celebrated in full-fledged during COVID-19 with no compromise on the celebrations as well as enjoyment, Goa Police seem to have taken situations too seriously. A lot of Policemen are seen at the beaches during and after the new year.
Goa is famous for its tourism and earns a decent economy through it. While the world still fights Covid-19 for a year and now its new strains, the Goa Government still allowed tourists to enter Goa on the occasion of Christmas and New Year. Goa was crowded with a humongous crowd and people were seen partying without even wearing a mask which is the new necessity.
Simultaneously, due to tourism, the locals suffer the most during the season, be it traffic or certain rules and regulations.
Policemen are seen even now on the beaches as well as in the city. The beaches are seen fully covered with alcohol bottles and trash. The Goa Government has paid no attention to the environmental damage the tourists have caused to the beautiful state.
Amidst this, boards are kept at the beaches saying drinking alcohol at the beaches is an offence. But the liquor shops are kept open till late in the night, where the tourists along with the locals choose to buy liquor, cigarettes etc. Goa is famous for inexpensive alcohol, there is no doubt in tourists taking full advantage of the same.
If shops are open, tourists apparently will choose to drink at the beaches for obvious reasons. If the liquor shops are given a certain time for their survival of the business, perhaps that will minimise the problem.
If and when they get caught while drinking or smoking, people often tend to avoid police cases, for the tourists not being aware of the rules and isolated places of the state; believe in getting done with the policemen the easiest way possible. This leads to the unseen corruption everybody is aware of yet chooses to ignore.
Goa Health Minister, Vishwajit Rane had given out a statement that said a night curfew is likely to be imposed in the state, but Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant later added, no decision to that effect has been taken so far. Further, Rane said he had discussed with the Chief Minister the issue of imposing a night curfew in the state. It was clearly visible, the leaders themselves were not synced on a decision.
If drinking at the beaches is an offence then littering the beaches must be considered an offence too, selling liquor late in the night must be considered an offence as well.
The real problem does not lie with tourists, the real issue is what the Goa Government wants to portray Goa as? Does it want Goa to be notorious for liquor, beaches, corruption, and drugs? Or as a state with remarkable history, culture, hospitality, and architecture.
So, when the next time a tourist visits Goa only for liquor and beaches, or mocks Goa for its functioning, we, the people of Goa must ask the Goa Government for an answer.