And the government would like to claim that they had the situation completely under control and were very well prepared.
Despite the KTC and tourism department providing sufficient buses to ferry tourists to and from the airport, the tourist taxi strike on Friday, which comes during peak tourism season, left a number of tourists inconvenienced. Information about the large number of buses arranged by the state government did not percolate down to the tourists.
Fearing they would miss their flights and fed with the rumours circulating, a number of tourists camped outside the airport up to 12 hours prior to their departures, exhausted and disgusted. Many were under the impression that there was only one direct KTC bus from Calangute to the airport and decided to play it safe. Their hotels knew no better.
Dr Ayushi Sthapak from Bhopal spent the last two days preparing to combat the strike. She booked the direct KTC bus from Calangute to the airport online and spent half a day at the airport, determined not to miss her flight.
Her friend Dr Harshita Jain from Jabalpur was terribly disappointed at having to cancel her scuba diving plans during her two-day trip.
“It turned out to be a stressful holiday,” she said.
The government went all out to ensure tourists were not stranded, with tourism department officials assisting KTC and road transport officials stationed at the airport since early morning, helping tourists board the direct shuttle buses arranged to Calangute, Panaji, Margao and Mapusa. A platoon of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) was also stationed along with Goa police to make sure the strike passed peaceful.