The government of Goa on Thursday reversed its order a day after the tourism department announced that the Raj Bhavan would be closed to the public for “security reasons”. The order to shut the governor’s official residence for six months was issued after newly appointed Governor Satya Pal Malik took charge.
“...it was decided to open the Raj Bhavan Darshan for visitors,” the statement from the state’s Directorate of Information and Publicity said. “As per existing practice, visitors have to make [an] online booking for visiting the Raj Bhavan.” The notification asked visitors to register on the portal at least two days before the date of the visit. Entry to the governor’s residence would be subject to “police verification and frisking” at the main gate, it added.
Officials had claimed that Malik qualified for Z-plus security as he faced an immediate threat from terrorist groups. He served as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir when the Centre scrapped its special status, and split the region into two Union Territories.
The Raj Bhavan, also called Palacio-de-Cabo in Portuguese, has been open to the public on a few days of the week as a chapel on its premises was available for prayers. It was the residence of Portugese viceroys during the colonial period, and was opened to tourists during former Governor Mridula Sinha’s term.
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