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Goa TMC launches blistering attack on Chief Minister and Tourism Minister, holding them accountable for the rampant touting menace in the coastal belt



Panaji- Goa Trinamool Congress strongly condemned the BJP-led government for failing to curb the increasing illegal touting in Goa. AITC National Spokesperson Trajano D’Mello, Goa TMC General Secretary Gilroy Costa, and Goa TMC ST/SC Coordinator Santosh Mandrekar addressed the media at the party office in Panaji and demanded the Chief Minister to clarify whether the Cabinet Minister’s accusation that the Police Department is ineffective against touting menace is true or not.

Lambasting Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte for allowing illegal touting to flourish in the state, AITC National Spokesperson Trajano D’Mello said, ‘The silence of the Tourism Minister is loud enough to understand that there is a compromise amongst the government authorities.’ He further added, ‘The Cabinet Minister is always heard saying, ‘Illegal touts.’ The most pertinent question to be asked is’ are there legal touts?’

Referring to the charge made by the Police Department that the Tourism Department is capable of containing the menace, D’Mello said, ‘The Police Department’s claim is valid as by an order dated October 31, 2023, the Tourism Department released an order barring reference number No. 7/5(29)(GTPPMA)/2022/DT/2547 to end touting and all illegal activities by imposing fines (5000- 50000).’ Adding on he said, ‘Goa TMC had raised concerns regarding the said order and inquired about the implementation and application of the same. We had said that this was only a way to collect ‘haftas’ as there was no enforcing agency.’

Reiterating Goa TMC’s demands, D’Mello said, ‘The Tourism Minister’s order to curb illegal activities and touting in the tourism belt remains unenforced and vague, leaving the public wondering who the competent authority is to execute the said order and where to lodge grievances. The order seems to have had the opposite effect, as it has only encouraged the appointment of legal touts by the Tourism Department.’ He further added, ‘The Cabinet Minister had claimed to launch a mobile application as well, where is it? He added, “The Tourism Minister must make a clear and categorical statement that the illegal touting menace has stopped. If he fails to do so, it will only confirm that touting is continuing, and worse, he is benefiting from it.’

Holding Chief Minister Pramod Sawant accountable to the people of Goa, D’Mello emphasized, ‘The CM must clarify whether the Cabinet Minister’s charge is true or not as he heads the Home Department. The credibility of Goa’s tourism industry has hit an all-time low, and the people demand answers from their government. It is time for the Tourism Minister and the Chief Minister to take responsibility and take swift action to curb this menace.’

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