A group of tourist charged for clicking photos in Parra (source: Goa Prism Youtube Channel)

Photography tax for tourists coming to Goa, sounds so weird, isn’t it? But maybe that is not something the village panchayat of Parra was concerned about and they decided to levy the taxes on the tourists who go around clicking the pictures of the places in Parra. But unfortunately for the Parrikars, the video of the same went viral on social media and the village panchayat of Parra was forced to suspend the Tourist Photography Tax.

It looks like following the huge success of the Shah Ruk Khan starer movie Dear Zindagi Parra become more popular amongst the domestic tourists and many of them want to capture their lovely moments in Goa and relate to the movie shot in there.

The Parra Village Panchayat did not want to lose out on the opportunity to make some revenue and decided to levy the taxes on every tourist that do the photography in Parra Village. But this did not go well with a group of tourists who just came down to Goa and wanted to capture come of their memories in the camera.

A group of youth (tourists) decided to record the incident with the help of some concerned locals and put it on social media. The video of this new tax system went viral across the state and the rest of the world. Netizens condemned the act of Parra villager for taxing the  tourists for the photography and that made authorities to take some action in the matter.       

According to the report published by India Today Days after amateur shutterbugs on shoe-string budgets thought they have lost their opportunity to capture the scenic beauty of Goa, the panchayat in North Goa’s Parra, the ancestral village of former Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, has scrapped a controversial tax levied on tourists.    

The decision to levy the tax ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 500 had triggered a controversy in Goa, after an outraged local resident published a photo of the panchayat’s signage announcing the tax and uploaded a video of tourists being levied the fee, on social media.

Talking to IANS on Wednesday, sarpanch of the Parra village panchayat Delilah Lobo said the decision to impose the “Swachhta tax” on those taking photos and selfies along the scenic coconut palm-lined road, was not made in order to earn revenue but to deter tourists from creating nuisance on the narrow road, which often led to traffic jams and garbage being strewn around.

“We have suspended the tax for now. The idea behind the tax was not to earn revenue for the village panchayat, but to deter tourists and photographers from holding up traffic along the narrow road during their shoots and throwing garbage around the place,” Lobo said.    

The tax had also irked travel and tourism industry stakeholders in Goa, who had expressed concern that such a tax may be emulated in other coastal villages, which would deter tourists from visiting the areas.

Do we need every time to take the grievances online to make the people understand what is right and wrong? Whatever may be Lobo saying now but if the matter was not posted on the social media then the tax regime would have continued until one day turning into the law!! 

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