Monday, November 29, 1999

Rave parties cannot be stopped immediately: Goa minister

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Panaji, Jun 17 (PTI) Goa''s Tourism Minister Nilkant Halarnkar today said it would take time to stop rave parties, notorious for drug abuse, in the tourist-favoured coastal belt of the state. "Practically, it is not feasible to crack down on them at once. It is to be done over a period of time," Halarnkar told reporters. The NCP legislator, inducted into the cabinet after former Tourism Minister Fransisco Mickey Pacheco stepped down, said the state Home Department should take action in this regard. Halarnkar said his priority would be to attract more tourists in the state. "I do not believe that Goa is India''s rape capital. I want to assure tourists that they are safe here. They can come and peacefully enjoy their vacation," he said. Former Tourism Minister Pacheco during his tenure had raised fears that the state is turning into India''s rape capital after a spate of crimes against foreigners were reported. Goa is well-equipped to protect visitors, the newly- inducted minister said. "New tourism security force will be in place soon, which will increase patrolling on the beaches," Halarnkar said, adding the schemes implemented by his predecessor would continue. "Government is a continuous process. The decisions once taken cannot be changed if minister changes," he said. PTI RPS AMA.

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