The Goa Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed amendments to the Goa Tourist Place (Protection and Maintenance) Act, 2001, that prohibits drinking alcohol, cooking and littering in tourist places, including beaches. Stores selling alcohol located in tourist places have been barred from allowing customers to carry take away bottles or cans containing liquor.
The amendments were tabled by Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar who said it is aimed to “protect and preserve tourism potential of tourist places in Goa and to keep such places clean and free from nuisance”, IANS reported. The amendments have been sent to the governor for assent.
Under the new amendments, individual violators can be fined Rs 2,000 for violating the law, and if a group of people is involved, the fine can be increased to Rs 10,000. There are no penal provisions for the offence. However, failure to pay the fine can attract arrest, Ajgaonkar had said last week.
Earlier this month, Goa Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo had said there had been a decline in the number of tourists and blamed Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for not imposing a ban on drinking alcohol on the beaches.
“Stop people drinking on the footpath, on the promenades, on the beaches, breaking bottles,” he had said in the Assembly. “The minute you stop this, you will see that this crowd will stop coming to Goa. They don’t want to drink in a shack or a restaurant, because they know it is expensive. They just want to buy and come on the beach and get drunk and look at women.”
In February 2018, the tourism minister had said he would “chase away” tourists who do not care about “Goan culture and Goanness”. Ajgaonkar had made the remarks after the state’s Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai stirred a controversy by calling domestic tourists “scum of the earth” and claiming that North Indian tourists were trying to “create a Haryana in Goa”.