Goa beaches to be unmanned

Goa’s beaches are to be without lifeguards from September 15 as the private agency engaged to provide services, has decided to withdraw its personnel due to the government’s failure to renew the contract.

The Drishti Special Response Services (DSRS), in a notice to the Tourism Ministry, has informed them that they will withdraw all 550 lifeguards from 105-km stretch of beaches as the ministry has failed to renew their five-year contract.

Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said his department has invited fresh tenders from agencies interested to provide lifeguards.

When asked if beaches would remain without lifeguards with the tourist season around the corner, the minister declined to comment. The DSRS, which bagged the contract in 2008, was initially assigned select beaches. .

Their services were then extended to other tourist hotspots like the Dudhsagar waterfall, from where several drowning incidents had been reported.

Kanwar said the agency issued the notice as their regular contract expired on June 15 and since then the Tourism Ministry has been renewing it on a monthly basis. “We decided not to seek monthly renewal due to various issues,” he said.

The DSRS had not been receiving timely payments from the ministry and the 10 per cent annual increment embedded in the agreement was not honoured, he added.

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