Over the last few years since private beach management agencies have been recruited by the tourism authorities, lives of several hundred tourists have been saved along busy beaches. (Representational Image)
The strike by lifeguards in Goa over the demand for regularisation of services entered its fourth day today even as the private agency engaged to provide lifeguard services termed their move "unjustifiable".
The lifeguards went on an indefinite strike on December 29, prompting the state government to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against them.
"Even as the strike is on, we continue to focus on the safety of tourists during the year-end celebrations. The strike is unjustifiable," said Manoj Agiwal, Chief Executive Officer, Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd.
The company is the only one to have been engaged for rendering lifeguard services at different beaches.
"The company expects some (lifeguards) to report to duty soon. Slogan shouting, etc. is all good for a day or two.
However, to give good life to their families they need to have a job, which they chose by accepting employment terms which were explained to all in a clear and transparent manner," said Mr Agiwal.
He claimed that the company is managed by professional, responsible personnel and it has "ensured that the human capital receives best remuneration, recognition, training, after work quality of life and, where necessary, counselling".
Mr Agiwal said the company has arranged a fresh lot of highly-trained lifeguards who will join operations from today (January 1) in order to ensure the safety and security of the tourists.
Meanwhile, Union Leader, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Christopher Fonseca, however, said they would continue with the agitation till their demand is met.
"We will continue our strike. We are not going to give up our struggle till the state government takes cognisance," said Mr Fonseca.
He said that a majority of the 650 lifeguards are on strike but added that "some of them here and there may have joined duties".