Goa beaches on New Year like India-Pakistan border: minister


Panaji : Armed bunkers on its famed beaches makes Goa look like the “India-Pakistan border” this New Year’s Eve, says state Tourism Minister Francisco Pacheco.

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Criticising the state government, especially Home Minister Ravi Naik for setting up bunkers on the shores and triggering panic amongst the tourists, Pacheco said the move had “severely affected the state’s tourism potential”.

Pacheco, popularly known as Mickky, expressed disappointment that the tourism ministry was not taken into confidence when these measures were being taken.

“The tourism ministry was not consulted before setting up these bunkers. We would have guided the people correctly,” Pacheco told IANS Tuesday.

“Look at the beaches today. They look like Indo-Pakistan border areas,” he rued, adding that the move virtually sank any chances of Goa enjoying a good tourist season, especially after the global meltdown and the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai.

Firing a salvo on the current coalition government headed by Congress’ Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Pacheco, who is also a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator, accused ministers in the current cabinet of putting individual whims ahead of issues which concern the state.

“There is no collective thinking for the good of Goa,” he said.

Describing the chief minister as a “good human being but not a good leader”, the tourism minister said that the cabinet was not united under Kamat’s leadership.

He praised former Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister and current opposition leader Manohar Parrikar for his style of functioning. “He used to give a free rein to his minister.”

Pacheco, a high profile minister in the Goa coalition government, is himself embroiled in a controversy with his alleged wife accusing him of bigamy. The case is presently being scrutinised by the Colva police.