PANAJI – The tourism minister Francis Xavier (Mickky) Pacheco lamented the criticism against his ministry and sought the Home ministry’s support to boost tourism and related activities in the state.
Pacheco said the tourism department was in no way responsible for the murder of Scarlett Keeling and other crimes in Goa.
“Murders and rapes bring a bad name to Goa and the Home department should take care of this. Even the much maligned tourist police are not under the control of tourism department.
“While our legislators have complained of beggars, hawkers and lamanis harassing tourists on Goan beaches, the Home department should tighten its control over the functioning of the tourist police,” Pacheco said.
Stating that it was tourism and its related activities that was instrumental in promoting Goa’s image around the world, Pacheco took objection to persistent complaints that the state’s beaches were dirty. He pointed out that garbage also proliferated along the road sides.
“Tourists do not fly to the beaches. They drive on the roads and these should also be cleaned,” Pacheco said.
The tourism minister further stated that although he has been alloted the tourism portfolio twice, he has never harassed the owners of beach shacks. “But vested interests created confusion in order to cause delays in the issuance of shack licenses last year. In the following tourist season, shack licences will be alloted by the end of September,” Pacheco said.