Delay in tourist police cell formation despite local-tourist brawl spike in Goa

 Monday, March 27, 2023 


Despite a string of clashes between tourists and locals in Goa, the request to set up a dedicated tourist police cell to comprehensively patrol beaches awaits approval even after four months, despite Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte’s relentless support.

Khaunte has been demanding a separate tourist police cell with substantial strength to offer better security to tourists on beaches. A detailed proposal was submitted to the government four months ago, the Times News Network reported.

A source, as per Times News Network, stated it is doubtful that the idea would be adopted in its entirety. It was proposed at the December meeting of the Goa Tourism Board (GTB) to establish a dedicated tourist police cell with over 400 personnel. Currently, only about 46 cops are assigned to beach patrol, which the tourist authorities believe is insufficient.

“More cops need to be deployed on beaches and at other spots that receive high footfall, but the question is whether the government can release 400 personnel for beach duty alone from its existing strength,” Times News Network quoted the source as saying.

According to the source, the proposal has remained pending despite the fact that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who holds the Home portfolio, is aware of the need. Furthermore, the CM serves as the GTB’s chairperson.

Furthermore, the government is reluctant to place the tourist police cell entirely under the control of the Tourism department, despite the latter’s desire, according to the source.

Two years ago, when the tourism department mooted the idea of getting a tourist police cell under its control, the police department was not very happy.

“Any development on the proposal may happen during the next board meeting,” the source said.

Many clashes between tourists and locals have occurred in recent months. During weekends, the beaches of Baga, Calangute, and Candolim become quite busy.

Recently, numerous Delhi tourists complained that they were molested by hotel workers in Anjuna. The president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), Nilesh Shah, has stated that the government must not postpone the establishment of the tourist police cell.

While the primary purpose of police on beaches is to keep vendors from harassing tourists, they also have other responsibilities such as resolving conflicts between tourists or between a shack operator and a client and providing overall security.

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