Tuesday , 17 September 2019
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Promote Goa Responsibly

PACHU MENON, MARGAO

Undoubtedly, tourism is the mainstay of Goa. This is probably the reason why even Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was very uncompromising in his stand that casinos would not be moved out of River Mandovi. Not concerning himself with the politics over casinos that his predecessors may have engaged in, he is of the firm opinion that casinos, as a vital clog in the tourism plans of the state, are here to stay. Considering that after the mining debacle, the offshore casinos have been bringing in the much-needed revenues to the economically-strapped state, the Chief Minister’s decision on casinos does appear justified. However, if the focus is to be on tourism as the lifeline of the state, there is a lot that needs to be done on that front. With a policy that is doing no wonders for the tourism industry and its stakeholders in the state, it is essential that the government adopts a holistic approach and envisages plans to promote tourism in a way that does justice to the beauty of the land and the unique traditions and customs that make Goa a much-favoured global destination. With sex and drugs tarnishing the fair name of the state, it becomes pertinent that efforts are made to rid Goa of this scourge. However, allegations of a police-mafia-politicians nexus abetting this criminal enterprise will make it extremely difficult for such a feat to be accomplished. Nonetheless, stringent measures are called for to arrest this onerous situation which can only come through sustained efforts by the government. At the same time, the locals need to be more circumspect about their ‘disciplining’ ways which is taking its toll on the footprints to the state. The recent spate of incidents wherein tourists have been roughed up by locals in different parts of the state indeed portends a worrisome trend. Not that the ‘esteemed guests’ have been perfect epitomes of civility!
It is extremely essential that both, the locals and the visitors tone down their
arrogant ways.

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