Goa

Tourist heaven also a haven for drug trade: Goa Minister

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Stating that drug menace is a reality in the tourist state, Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar warned of action against beach shacks found indulging in narcotics sale.

“Drugs are happening on the coast. Everyone is involved in it. It is a known fact that it is happening,” the Minister said in response to a question at a press conference here last evening.

He did not elaborate on who all were involved in drug trade in the coastal state, which is a popular destination for both Indian and foreign travellers.

Parulekar was briefing the media on his meeting with Union Minister of State for Tourism K Chiranjeevi in Delhi.

Tourism Department cannot close down beach shacks merely on allegations that drugs are sold there, he said.

The Minister was asked whether his department will clamp down on shacks in the wake of a report from Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

In May, NCB indicted a shack at Anjuna, Shiva Valley, after narcotics-related activities were reported from there. Licence of the shack has been suspended for three years.

Parulekar said if his department receives specific reports about sale of drugs in shacks, their licences would be cancelled.

The shacks, temporary structures on beaches owned privately under Government licence, are currently shut in the State due to ongoing monsoon season.

The Minister’s statements come in the backdrop of a BJP legislator, Michael Lobo, submitting a list, of what he claimed drug pushers, to the Director General of Police.

Lobo, who represents Calangute constituency, submitted the list yesterday. “I have given names of four criminals. I hope the police will take strict action against them.”

The ruling party MLA said drug trade and consumption have reached alarming proportion in his constituency which has famous beaches like Calangute, Candolim and Baga.

Courtesy : ET