Tourists flock to Bardez beaches

The Bardez coastal belt was chock-a-block with tourists and vehicles on Monday due to the extended Diwali weekend and holidays as security has been tightened across the state.

A large number of tourists from neighbouring states have driven down in their own vehicles. With the ongoing road-widening in the Baga area and the Calangute beach promenade beautification work in full swing, the usually chaotic scene witnessed during the season has been accentuated.

But that does not seem to dampen the spirits of the holidayers as they continued to pour into Calangute beach throughout the day. The high inflow of foreign tourists has also kept up the spirits of the stakeholders.

While lifeguards were kept on their toes with tourists swimming all over the beach, the beach shacks which have already started are seen doing roaring business with a huge demand for cold beers. Water sports operators too are having a field day.

The new initiative of the tourism department to operate kiosks to sell tickets for the water sports has also come to be accepted. Though the water sports operators had resisted the kiosks in the initial days, they are now quite happy with the Q-system, a water sports operator told TOI.

Water sports operators have their own representatives in the kiosks, while the new IRB personnel who have been deputed to maintain law and order on the beach keep a close watch to prevent any untoward incident.

Work has also started on the changing rooms and toilets at the entrance of the beach, though they'll probably be ready only after thepeak season is over. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday had inaugurated the new office of the Calangute traffic cell at the Poriat ground.

A large number of hoteliers can be seen lining up at the Calangute police station everyday to file the mandatory C-forms required to be filled in by foreign guests following the start of the tourist season in Goa. Hundreds of charter tourists occupy hotel rooms daily in the Calangute-Candolim tourist belt during the season. [TOI]