PANAJI, India — Turtle lovers were expecting the full moon on Friday night to woo olive ridley turtles to Morjim and Mandrem, instead the prime habitat has turned into a party zone.
"A full moon beach party was held by a club at Morjim with an entrance fee of 1,000 on Thursday, and at least three events are in progress at both beaches at the moment," a local resident told TOI on Friday. A source said that the parties are being held within 200 m of the high tide line and blaring music and laser lights were flashing in the sky at Ashwem at least till 10.30pm. One of the venues was close to a place of worship and next to a lifeguard's tower. Details of the full moon parties are splashed on the website, 'What's Up Goa'.
Repeated attempts to contact the north Goa collector, the Pernem deputy collector and other authorities proved futile.
A villager also complained of similar lack of success in trying to get authorities to act on the violations.
The flippered visitors generally surface on full moon nights. Only two nestings have been reported at the two North Goa beaches, though the season is almost half through.
Environmentalists have raised a concern over the late night partying with music and lights. "You can't tell the turtles we are partying here, so go elsewhere. The Morjim beach is eroded, and they can come up further along the whole stretch," an activist said.
The Morjim beach was flooded with over 300 deck beds last weekend and the tourism department cleared this with a raid on December 23.