Chaos at Calangute beach as tourism official confiscates shack material


Confusion was witnessed at Gaurawaddo in Calangute on Monday afternoon after around 35 armed policemen arrived at the beach to confiscate some beach beds.
The policemen, who were accompanied by the deputy director of Tourism, tried to confiscate deck beds and purportedly to take action against some shack owners who were learnt to be flouting rules.
However, the Calangute MLA, Mr Michael Lobo, who was informed about this development, rushed to the site along with Mr Joseph Sequeira and convinced the deputy director that such an action on his part was totally not acceptable.
According to sources, the deputy director of Tourism along with an armed force of around 40 personnel of the Indian Reserve Battalion arrived at the beach and began to lift deck beds and tried to confiscate some mattresses. Also some small huts of fishermen and their nets were removed. Tourists who were on the beach began to run in panic.
Mr Lobo later sought to know from the deputy director about the basis for the action. Mr Lobo then got in touch with the tourism director, tourism minister and tourism secretary and informed them about this. He also claimed that the Calangute beach belt if free of any illegalities.
“Let us have shacks and beds put up in a controlled manner. I am ready to take the responsibility if any rules are flouted. Shack owners and tourists must not be terrorised like how it happened today,” claimed Mr Lobo. 
Thereafter the confiscated goods were returned and the officer admitted to his mistake. Mr Lobo later informed that a meeting has been finalised on Tuesday with the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar and the Tourism Minister, Mr Dilip Parulekar and other concerned officials so that the matter is resolved. The whole incident lasted for about two hours and Mr Lobo said that he also discovered that the officer had no such written order to act. [NT]