Panaji: As 54 striking lifeguards faced
termination of services, a worried Goa tourism industry called
for an end to the five-day old stir in view of a large number
of tourists expected in the state for Christmas and New Year.
Around 400 lifeguards, employed by Drishti Special
Response Pvt Ltd to man beaches in the state, are on a strike
since Monday demanding higher wages.
"Lifeguard is a vital service on beaches. Last year,
they saved hundreds of people from drowning. Attempts should
be made to resolve the dispute between lifeguards and the
company management as soon as possible," Travel and Tourism
Association of Goa (TTAG) spokesman Ralf D`Souza told PTI.
Presence of lifeguards on the beaches is vital as
lakhs of visitors will throng the seashores for Christmas and
New Year celebrations, he said. "We don`t want Goan beaches to
be termed as `killer waters`."
The tourism industry can`t intervene in the strike
directly as the beach management contract has been awarded to
a private firm (Drishti), D`Souza said. "Department of Tourism
should act as a mediator and solve the issue."
As the strike continued, the company terminated the
services of 54 lifeguards. "The services of 54 lifeguards were
terminated as their conduct does not make them worthy of being
appointed as lifeguards," a Drishti spokesman said.
Show-cause notices have been served to 308 more
lifeguards, he added.