We run to Goa whenever we want to lead a liberated few days without a care in the world. It’s a place to party, to laze around on the beaches wearing shorts and sarongs, with a beer in hand. Or not. Yes, you heard that right. Goa is the same except you cannot drink on the beaches anymore. If you do, you’ll either have to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 or land up in jail for up to three months. This development came after an amendment to the Registration of Tourist Trade Act was approved by the state cabinet recently.
Goa’s tourism minister Manohar Ajgaonkar says that this amendment is not without reason. He says the reason for banning beer on the beach is not alcohol consumption, but the fact that people misbehave and break bottles on the beach that has a deadly potential to harm humans and marine life. He said that cooking food in the open has also been banned, listing that the offenders in groups can also be fined upto Rs 10,000.
The footfall in the state had dipped in the previous years; and now such an amendment will land an even heavy blow to the tourism industry. The state has not just banned drinking on the beaches, but in public places as well.
Ajgaonkar had mentioned earlier that once the amendments come into force after they are passed in the Assembly, photographs of offenders will be sent across to the Tourism Ministry on a special phone number, following which action would be taken in 12 hours. The law will also charge penalties for shacks that allow guests to carry bottles of liquor with them. However, it’s okay as long as you are drinking and eating inside the shack or in a bar, where you will not be questioned at all.