Goa Cong wants ex-soldiers as lifeguards on beaches

Congress state president Girish Chodankar. (File Photo)

The state unit of Congress on Friday demanded that ex-military personnel should be roped in for beach safety and lifeguarding chores, after several dozen lifeguards resorted to strike over delayed payment by a private firm, which employs them. 

The demand comes at a time when several lifeguards manning Goa’s beaches went on strike demanding immediate payment of salaries, even as Drishti Marine, the beach management which employs them, expressed regret and assured quick payment of dues. 

Earlier, the Congress maintained that the government should take over lifeguard services and hire former military personnel, claiming lifeguards were being treated unfairly by the private firm. 

“We request state government to immediately bring all the lifeguards under its ambit and put the beach safety and lifeguarding services under the monitoring of ex-armymen or ex-naval officers which will help in bringing discipline and will help in providing secured beach safety to the tourists and locals,” Congress state president Girish Chodankar told Deccan Herald. 

The comment comes amid protests by the lifeguards at the state’s most popular beach at Calangute, where they staged a demonstration demanding the quick release of their wages. 

Drishti Marine in a statement issued here has expressed “regret” over the delay in payment of wages to lifeguards. 

“The company regrets the delay in salaries and dues which were because of circumstances beyond its control. Increment arrears from July 2019 are being processed and will be paid to all lifeguards including captains and supervisors who did not resort to strike,” the company said in a statement.  

Goa’s 100 km plus the coastline is known for its several beaches, which are manned by over 600 lifeguards. 

 

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