Lifeguard services being provided by the tourism department has been brought under the ambit of the Goa Essential Services Maintenance (ESMA) Act , 1988 with immediate effect. This comes in the wake of the strike call given by the All India Trade Union Congress – Goa Unit, which issued a notice for a strike of a section of lifeguards for two days from November 21, 2014. The invocation of ESMA by the government, here on Wednesday, declares any strike by lifeguards as illegal and prohibits any strike on the beaches and inland water ways where lifeguard services are provided by the tourism department in the interest of the general public.
The Tourism Director, Ameya Abhyankar said, “Life guard services are very critical for ensuring safety of tourists on the beaches. Any attempt to disrupt the services will be sternly dealt with under relevant provisions of the law.” The notification issued today states the provisions under which the tourism department can act under ESMA imposing various penalties from fines to imprisonment. Under penalty for illegal strikes, any person who commences a strike which is illegal under the Act, or goes, or remains on strike, or otherwise takes part in any such strike shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months , or with a fine which may extend to Rs 200, or with both.
In case of penalty for instigation, etc , any person who instigates or incites other persons to take part in, or otherwise acts in furtherance of a strike which is illegal under the Act, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to Rs 1000, or with both, and any vehicle or any conveyance used by such person while committing such offence shall be forfeited to the government.
In case of financial aid given to illegal strikes, any person who knowingly extends or supplies any money in furtherance or supports the strike which is illegal under the Act shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term for one year, or with fine which may extend to Rs 1000 or with both.
A notification to this effect has been issued by the government , in exercise of the powers conferred under sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Goa Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1988 (Goa Act 20 of 1989.