On Thursday, the Goa cabinet approved a proposal as per which people drinking alcohol or cooking in public will have to face a hefty fine of Rs 2,000. Anyone who fails to meet the penalty will attract imprisonment for up to three months, as per the reports.
State Tourism Minister, Manohar Ajgaonkar, in one of the statements said that penalty amount would exceed to Rs 10,000 if a group of people is seen drinking in public rather than individuals. The minister also confirmed that an amendment to Registration of Tourist Trade Act had been made to accommodate the penalty.
A report says that the amendment will be made on January 29 following the Assembly session.
“We have brought this amendment for those who break bottles on the beach, (and) cook and drink alcohol in public places like beaches,” Ajgaonkar told the media.
“Nobody can drink alcohol on our beaches and tourist places anymore. Bottles cannot be carried there. Food also cannot be cooked in the open. All these offenses will attract a fine of Rs 2000. If the fine is not paid, an offense can be registered. The offender can be arrested and imprisoned for three months,” Ajgaonkar added.
After the amendment is tabled, photographs of the offenders will be captured breaking the laws which will then be sent to the tourism department to impose fines.
The modification in the laws regarding public drinking and cooking comes at a very delicate stage for the state. The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa is criticizing the state government for the amendment in the laws, and it’s poor tourism policies. The association also referred the year 2018-2019 as the worst tourism year of Goa with a 40 percent drop in footfall and a significant downfall in rentals.
Besides this, the Travel and Tourism Association also pointed to the lack of law and order management across beaches in Goa. They said that the police do not have official powers to arrest anyone for spitting, or drinking liquor on the beach.