Booming business: The ‘massage’ is clear in Colva

Margao: The massage parlour and spa business in Colva is booming again, and the flesh trade has become rampant in hotel rooms, private houses and lodges under the guise of ayurvedic massage centers.

A whopping 12 massage parlours have mushroomed in the village, while even star hotels have installed boards informing about massage parlours in their premises.
Colva beach attracts tourists throughout the year. In December, several thousand tourists from various parts of India and the world come here to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
Eyeing the rush, massage parlours and spas that were shut down have reopened leading to locals expressing fear and anxiety over the reopening as they believe that this trade will tear apart law and order in the coastal village.
12 massage parlours, besides some in star hotels, are running in full swing now. Earlier, the police had conducted an inquiry and several of these parlours were shut down.
“What business is carried out in the name of massage parlours is already an open secret. For the last six months, I have been asking the panchayat to stop these illicit activities, which is blacking the face of tourism in Colva. However, not even a reply comes from the panchayat,”  comes in this complaint” said Menino, a gram sabha member.
He added, “Every panchayat meeting, I have been demanding an inspection of these illicit massage parlours, which is noted in the minutes of the meeting. But for six months, they have ignored my demand.” He claimed that if the panchayat takes interest, the illicit trade can be shut down instantly.
Meanwhile, a recently opened ayurvedic spa in a closed toilet block of Goa Tourism Residency has created a stir amongst the locals. When questioned, General Manager of Goa Tourism Development Corporation, Sanjay Prabhu Chodnekar, said, “A person has been given permission to open a spa in the unused toilet block and he has all the permissions to run the same. This spa is earning money in the form of rent for the Corporation. If someone has doubts of illicit activities in the property, then they should file a police complaint. The GTDC doesn’t tolerate illicit activities.”
Judith Almeida of the Colva Civic and Consumer Forum (CCCF) alleged that the massage parlours and spas in Colva are involved in the flesh trade. She stated, “I have been complaining about this to the panchayat and police. They have to conduct surprise raids and stop this trade.”
She added, “There is no information on the visitors of the parlours nor any info on who are the masseurs and whether they are qualified or not. All this needs to be inquired into.”