Goa’s CM, Manohar Parrikar, known for his humble lifestyle, has just declared that he doesn’t travel on a scooter anymore. This is because he no longer feels safe on a two wheeler. While responding to questions on whether he still rides around Goa on a scooter, Mr. Parrikar had this to say at a gathering of BJP workers at Canacona, South Goa,
People ask me whether I travel on a scooter. I tell them that I don’t anymore. My mind is filled with work-related thoughts and if I ride my scooter while my mind is somewhere else, then I could meet with an accident.
In the past, Mr. Parrikar is said to have been spotted riding around Mapusa and Panaji on a humble Bajaj scooter. This has prompted many to admire his austere lifestyle even as politicians are seen driving about in the swankiest of SUVs, with long motorcades to boot. At the gathering where he made these comments, Mr. Parrikar is also said to have noted that he doesn’t even prefer riding as a pillion anymore.
Goa, which is India’s smallest state, is very popular among tourists, both from India and abroad. The tiny state has sun-kissed beaches and narrow roads, making two wheelers the most popular mode of transport among locals and tourists alike. Riding around Goa is a popular way of getting to see the state’s beaches and other tourist attractions. Two wheeler rentals are very popular in Goa, and scooters and motorcycles can be rented out on daily/monthly basis for small amounts of money that can start from as little as Rs. 300/day.
However, the state has been witnessing a spate of accidents mainly caused due to the increasing vehicle density and rash riding/driving. When in Goa or for that matter anywhere else, it’s important for two wheeler riders to wear helmets and car/SUV drivers to wear seatbelts. Also, following safe riding/driving practices are imperative, especially in a state where liquor flows freely and law enforcement against drunken driving/riding is generally lax except in parts of Panaji, the capital city.