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Lifeguards stir: Goa tourism keeps watch on beaches

Lifeguards, demanding regularisation of services, went on an indefinite strike, prompting the state govt to invoke ESMA against them

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

With lifeguards in Goa going on a strike, the tourism department is monitoring the situation on beaches which is witnessing the peak tourist season due to New Year celebrations.

Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said his department officials are monitoring the situation on the beaches.

"Though there's a strike by lifeguards, the situation is normal. There are enough lifeguards," Parulekar said.

He said the private management agency, which has been given the task of providing lifeguards, has pooled-in resources from other states to overcome the crisis.

Drishti Lifesaving Services Private Limited has the contract to man nearly 105-km-long coastline of Goa.

The minister today refused to hold any talks with the lifeguards on strike, claiming that it is between the company and the workers to decide on the problems.

"It is their internal matter. Our concern is safety of tourists on the beaches which we are monitoring," he said.

The lifeguards, demanding regularisation of services, went on an indefinite strike from yesterday prompting the state government to invoke Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against them.

The lifeguards providing company said it is well-equipped to man the coastline.

"The company has made alternate arrangements by assigning senior lifeguards from its sister concern in Goa and Mumbai and select group of volunteers who worked tirelessly to ensure that neither were the tourists inconvenienced nor they were in any peril whilst enjoying their holiday in the coastal waters of Goa," Drishti Lifesaving Services chief executive officer Manoj Agarwal said.

The company has been manning the state's beach stretch with its 600 odd lifeguards.

Terming the current strike as illegal and unjustified, Agarwal said the company shall be taking stringent action under ESMA, Payment of Wages Act and under other applicable lawful provisions against its employees and also those responsible for instigation.

"The company shall continue to ensure safety of the public bathing/ swimming in coastal waters of Goa," he said.

First Published: Wed, December 30 2015. 12:13 IST
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