Female tourists pose hurdle to tourism department
The tourism department that was cracking down on illegal deck beds and shacks since the beginning of the season is facing opposition from unusual quarters.
Every time a team seizes and dismantles deck beds- found illegally installed at any of the beach areas- foreign tourists present at that time, inadvertently intervene on behalf of the illegal operators.
A tourism officer who has been part of the raiding team a couple of times, said the Calangute, Baga and Candolim beaches are real problem areas. Beaches up north – Morjim, Ashvem and Mandrem- hardly show any resistance from anyone. The situation turns bizarre when female tourists promptly occupy the deck beds identified by the raiding team as illegal. "They refuse to move even after being told that they were illegally installed," said the officer who did not wish to be named.
Though the raiding team is accompanied by police personnel, the officer said, they feel helpless when there is interference by foreign female tourists. "We can't physically lift them," said the officer.
Sometimes, tourists do give up but that takes a lot of explaining and cajoling from the raiding team. Most of the time they are compelled to look elsewhere when foreign tourists come bugging them. The tourism department suspects that the foreign tourists who hinder their work, do it at the insistence of shack operators. "Their sympathies are always with the shack owners," he added. Sometimes, they also rag raiding team members.
"They will simply start clapping or laugh at us as if we are a big joke," said a tourism official who was ragged recently, when he had gone on inspection to Gaurawaddo in Calangute. The department will mention all its problems in its report to the government which will be prepared at the end of the season. [TOI]