Panaji: Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has said Goans are not to be blamed for "misconceptions" about the state and insisted that women seen in bikinis or people attired in "exceptional" dresses on the beaches are tourists and not local residents.
"The tourists who come here watch another fellow tourist and return with misconception. You will not find Goans drunk on the roads or any local girl in bikini," he said.
"You could see people in short dresses, they are foreigners. People who are seen in bikini or wearing exceptional dress are not Goans. They are tourists," Parsekar said in an interaction during the ongoing Annual General Body meeting of Federation of PTI Employees Union here on Monday.
Reacting to a recent statement by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal that Goa was the easiest place to get drugs, Parsekar said drugs on the state's coast are also the government's concern.
"But the problem is that the image of Goa is projected in different angles by people. There are people existing in this country who are under the impression that Goans start drinking liquor early in the morning and continue till going to bed," he said.
"There is another misconception that ladies use most limited clothes in the state and that on the beaches they are without clothes," Parsekar said.
The same is the case with person like Badal who feels that drugs are freely available on Goa's coast, the Chief Minister said.
"I am ready to host him (Badal) in Goa. Ask him to take his own time to go around and create the actual impression about the state. The picture of Goa is different and not what Badal thinks," he asserted.
Parsekar said Goa is the most cultured state with people living in religious harmony.
"Goa is the safest place. That is why you will find a single girl riding a scooter in any isolated lane of the state even at 11 o'clock in the night," he said. Admitting that to a certain extent garbage pollution does exist on state's beaches, the Chief Minister rubbished claims that state's waters are polluted.
"You can visit any beach. There is no pollution of water. But due to large number of tourists, the garbage problem can be seen," he said, adding that daily 50,000 people arrive at the state's lone Dabolim airport.
On the ongoing controversy over classification of coconut as a palm and not as a tree, he said the matter has been raised by certain opposition members who are searching for issues in the prelude to the assembly polls in the state due next year.
"For the last four years, the opposition could not make any allegation of corruption against the Chief Minister or any of the minister. Now this is the year of election hence they are trying to search for the controversies," he said.
Parsekar said the amendment to Goa, Daman, Diu Tree Preservation Act was done considering the demands of farmers who want to replace the existing enviable coconut trees with the new saplings.
The government annually gives 25,000 coconut saplings free and 50,000 at subsidised rates to the farmers, he informed....