Panjim, Dec 24: Goa's drug-laced rave parties would be a thing of past at least this New Year as dwindling number of foreign tourists coupled with enforcement of stringent laws are proving to be a dampener for celebrations to ring in 2015.
The most popular shacks which used to host three-day and night parties beginning from December 30 till the wee hours on January 1 are wearing deserted look.
The preparations for rave parties which would begin a week in advance are missing. A visit to the beach belt indicates that there are no fliers distributed inviting people for 'all night parties' which are mostly held on beaches like Anjuna, Vagatore, Morjim, Ashwem in North and Palolem in South.
All this, because the state is witnessing a downfall in tourist arrivals from abroad. Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar himself vouches for 35% less tourists arriving from Russia itself, while tourism industry says that the figure is much more.
"To conduct rave parties you require foreign tourists. One cannot bank on domestic tourists for that. Also the places which were hosting these parties by paying police have become known. So, no one is willing to take the risk," said a shack owner from Anjuna, who claimed that "drugs do happen, but in smaller ways, not in a rave party manner." Monkey valley, Bamboo valley, Hilltop and some known shacks have become synonyms with the rave party scene in the state. Places like Baga and the famous lane leading to hub of discos don't have much crowd, indicating a bleak tourism scenario.
The law enforcement agencies which have come under the scanner for 'failure to curb narcotics trade' have began additional patrolling at suspected places. "Synthetic drugs that are sold through pharmacies has completely stopped now. We had sent some decoy customers to check whether it is sold in pharmacies across the coastal belt, but it is not available," Superintendent of Police Karthik Kashyap told PTI. He said that the department has kept a watch at all possible rave party spots.
'Rave parties are not going to happen this year. A constant vigil is being maintained," he said. Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has also formed special anti-narcotics cell squads to crack down on these parties.