Dope on beaches: Karnataka does not want to go the Goa way

"At Om beach (a popular beach near Karwar, 120 kms from here) we have a couple of high-end properties. But at the level of middle and lower-end (properties), we would need to have more vigil," Karnataka's Principal Secretary Tourism K. Jothiramalingam said Wednesday.

He was speaking to reporters during a Karnataka tourism roadshow here.Coastal areas in northern Karnataka, especially Gokarna and Om beach, close to Goa, are sought after destinations for backpackers and are known as drug abusers' havens.

Jothiramalingam said that a special green police force launched by the Karnataka tourism department has been entrusted with the responsibility of keeping a vigil on such nefarious activities.

"The Green police force which comprises of trained home guards has been launched to keep an eye on such activities," Jothiramalingam said. Karnataka is making efforts to promote its relatively pristine beaches as a refreshing change from the "done to death" beach tourism in Goa.

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