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from daijiworld's special correspondent

Panaji, Sep 8: Goa can now expect to be low on drowning deaths with striking lifeguards resuming their duties on Saturday.

The lifeguards, who refused to take on their stands on beaches and stood infront of tourism department, pressing for their demands, today announced withdrawal of their agitation.

Lifeguards in Goa resumed work after calling their month-long strike. About 10-15 deaths have been reported during the period of their strike (Pic Rajtilak Naik, Panaji)

The withdrawal came following order by a local labour court which asked them to resume duties and ordered tourism department to pay their salaries for the month of august.

Around 69 lifeguards posted at 30-odd state beaches  had struck the work from august 10 demanding regularization of their services. The strike had left the entire 105-km-long beach-line unguarded resulting in increasing deaths due to drowning.

"Lifeguards will respect labour commissioner's interim order and will get back to their duties from tomorrow. But fight for regularization will continue," stated Putu Gaonkar, general secretary, Gomantak Mazdoor Sangh, a labour union, which had taken up lifeguard's case in the labour court.

He said that they would oppose any move to have lifeguards' fresh appointments. "Department of tourism has been executing their transfers and deployments... how can the state government ignore them now," questioned Gaonkar.

The coastal state which has beaches as a backbone of its tourism witnessed horrendous incidents especially during independence day weekend when 12 people were drowned in four days.

Official figures revealed that till date 45 people have died due to drowning at state's beaches, this year.

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