High Court Exposes Government Negligence in Beach Cleanliness

The recent court proceedings reveal the government's negligence in maintaining clean beaches, as former councillor Patricia Pinto highlights the absence of an effective system for beach cleanliness. The court proceedings uncover irregularities in festival preparations and raise concerns about waste management. It is crucial to implement proper systems for beach cleanliness to preserve Goa's pristine beauty and ensure a sustainable tourism industry.

Government Negligence in Beach Cleanliness Exposed by High Court

High Court Exposes Government Negligence in Beach Cleanliness - -160417127

( Credit to: Gomantaktimes )

The recent court proceedings in the High Court of Bombay at Goa have shed light on the lackadaisical attitude of the Department of Tourism towards maintaining clean beaches. Former CCP councillor Patricia Pinto approached the court not to oppose seafood festivals on the beach, but rather to highlight the absence of an effective system for beach cleanliness.

Pinto expressed her concerns, stating, "I plead with the government to keep beaches free from food festivals. As a councillor, it took years to get Miramar beach cleaned. Having a beach cleaning system is one thing and expecting people to follow it is another." Her plea resonated with the court and revealed startling evidence of the government's negligence.

Initially, the government did not heed the High Court's suggestion to defer the festival. However, on the second day of the proceedings, it became apparent that numerous skeletons would be exposed if the festival were to proceed. This realization prompted the government to backtrack on its decision.

Irregularities Uncovered in Festival Preparations

The court proceedings unveiled several irregularities in the preparations for the festival. The first red flag arose when the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) was presented. The letter requesting the NOC was dated 11-01-2023, while the reply referred to a letter dated 22-12-2023, indicating discrepancies in the timeline. Furthermore, the GCZMA NOC was issued without the authority of the board, as it was signed by the Member Secretary.

The issue stemmed from an undertaking signed by the former Tourism Director, U D Kamat, in 2004, stating that no seafood festival would be held on any beaches. This commitment was made after it was discovered that food stalls were being erected for the 35th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) scheduled to take place on the beach that year.

The Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) was one of the departments that had not issued the necessary NOC for the festival. Documents submitted to the court revealed that the CCP had sought clarification from the Department of Tourism regarding the legal standing of the festival, but received no response. Additionally, the tender for the erection of stalls was issued without specifying the exact location, stating it would be held at the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) ground or any other place.

Concerns Raised About Waste Management

To further support the deferment of the festival, a "Note for Cabinet" was presented to the High Court. The note, although undated and unsigned, outlined the Cabinet's decision to permit the Department of Tourism to hold the Seafood Beach Festival at Miramar beach for three days in a year. However, it emphasized that the organizers must comply with all statutory provisions and court orders.

The lack of attention to detail was evident in the festival's traffic plan, which focused solely on the type of traffic signals to be used and lacked essential information regarding parking arrangements and timings.

In light of these revelations, the Department of Tourism's claim of segregating wet and dry waste at the venue was called into question. Another document submitted to the court indicated that each stall would only be provided with one waste bin, raising concerns about proper waste management during the festival.

Preserving Beach Cleanliness for a Sustainable Tourism Industry

Former councillor Patricia Pinto expressed her relief that the government ultimately decided to defer the Seafood Festival. She emphasized the need to preserve the uniqueness of Miramar beach and urged both citizens and the government to strive for cleanliness to attract more tourists.

The court proceedings have brought to the forefront the government's negligent approach to beach cleanliness. It is crucial that proper systems are implemented and adhered to in order to maintain the pristine beauty of Goa's beaches and ensure a sustainable tourism industry.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post