Goa tourism gives up hope on Wendell Rodricks` designs

Panaji: Internationally renowned fashion designer Wendell Rodricks` busy schedule and "co-ordination issues" have forced the Goa tourism department to give up hopes of getting slick uniforms for the much-touted Tourism Security Force (TSF) that is likely to be formally launched latr this year.

Speaking to reporters Monday tourism minister Nilkanth Halarnkar said that the manpower for the TSF, which will be posted on Goa`s beaches and other places of religious interest, was being currently screened by the Goa government`s personnel department.

"We had approached Wendell to design the (tourism) security force uniforms. But he was on his tours and was busy and there were co-ordination issues between the department and him, so we decided to ask some local persons to come up with the designs for the uniform," Halarnkar said.

"We wanted to have uniforms specially designed by Wendell so that our TSF can stand out in a crowd and now be mistaken along with the police who wear khaki. Tourists should be easily able to seek our men out. That was the idea behind approaching a designed," said Halarnkar, whose belongs to the village of Colvale, where Rodricks also has his home.

The TSF was launched amidst a lot of fanfare last year, an attempt by the tourism authorities to show that they were serious about the safety of the 2.6 million tourists who visit the state annually. But, even more than a year after, the TSF is yet to formally take off.

Wendell Rodricks, a Goa-based fashion designer of international acclaim, has earlier designed the uniforms of the Goa Police on the lines of the Singapore police force a decade and a half ago, when the traditional khakhi was switched for a combination of navy blue trousers and white shirts with a coconut palm logo.

The uniform had failed to find favour with the Goa police, who successfully lobbied with the state government to switch back to khaki.