The forest department in Goa has issued several guidelines for the tourists, prohibiting them from carrying liquor and plastic to the tourist spots located in the forest land, especially during the monsoon season. The move is aimed at keeping the forest areas clean and litter-free and the department said that anyone found violating the guidelines would not be allowed entry into these areas. Although the forest areas, sanctuaries and national parks are already deemed as ‘No Plastic’ and ‘No Alcohol’ zones, the department now plans to enforce it strictly “During the monsoon season from June to September, the state witnesses an increase in the footfalls to forest areas every year. The visitors from the state and outside undertake forest treks during the monsoon, besides visiting several waterfalls that spring to life in this season,” the guidelines issued this week said.
“The forest areas, sanctuaries and national parks that are visited by tourists are deemed as ‘No Plastic’ and ‘No Alcohol’ zones, thereby strictly prohibiting carrying and consumption of alcoholic drinks on the trekking routes and/or approach routes to the waterfalls,” they said. There are a number of spots in the only national park and several wildlife sanctuaries in the state, that are promoted as spots of tourist importance by the state tourism department. These places are often visited during the monsoons when tourism is shut down in the beach belt. Most of the treks and waterfalls are located in the Wildlife Protected areas like Mhadei wildlife sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park and wildlife sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary.
“All the visitors are expected not to litter the forest are or the waterfalls sites with leftover eatables, wrappers, empty containers and the like,” the department has said in its guidelines. Cautioning that bathing or frolicking at waterfalls could be risky, the department has asked the visitors to observe all precautions and give special attention to children.