‘Drug trade, rave parties on the rise in coastal Goa’
Panaji: Former Goa Water Resources Minister Vinod Palienkar on Friday alleged that state Home Ministry headed by Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was incapable of tackling increasing drug trade and rave parties in Goa’s coastal areas and demanded that Sawant hand over the crucial ministry to a “capable” minister in his Cabinet.
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Palienkar, an opposition MLA of the Goa Forward party, who is elected to the state legislative assembly from the Siolim constituency, which is known for popular beaches like Anjuna, Vagator and Chapora as well as a narco-tourism destination, alleged that police officials are hand-in-glove with drug mafia operating in North Goa’s coastal belt.
“Drug trade in Goa has increased tremendously over the last few months. In the coastal Assembly constituency which I represent, rave parties where drugs are sold are being held almost every day,” Palienkar claimed adding that pamphlets are distributed advertising rave parties in his constituency.
“CM had asked people to inform him if there were illegal rave parties happening. I had written to CM and gave him flyers about this drug sale business at such parties which are held till early hours of the morning. But there has been no action. If he cannot handle the Home Ministry, let him give it to a capable minister,” Palienkar said.
The former minister’s charge comes weeks after Sawant announced that his government was following a “zero tolerance” policy towards drug trade.
Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country, but over the years the state has also been popular as a destination for narco-tourism. Last year, Goa attracted nearly seven million tourists, half a million of which were foreign nationals.