The Goa government has decided to charge fines between Rs 2,000 and Rs 10,000 from people for drinking and cooking in the open, state Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said Thursday. The Tourist Trade Act will be amended suitably during the Goa Assembly session beginning on January 29 for this purpose, he informed.
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The amendment comes at a time when the tourism and travel industry stakeholders have been blaming the government for poor vision as well as lack of will to attract “quality tourists” to Goa even as tourist footfalls to the coastal state have dipped over the last couple of years.
The Tourism Minister also said that once the amendments come into force, after they are passed in the Assembly, photographs of offenders could be sent across to the Tourism Ministry over WhatsApp to a special phone number, following which action would be taken within 12 hours.
“It’s not that we can stop low-end tourists from coming to Goa,” said Savio Messias, president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa. “But you have to control the behaviour of tourists. When Indians go overseas, they won’t be spitting around the place or running around without proper clothes or drinking on the roads and what not.”
This development is in line with Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s long-standing promise to ban the drinking of liquor in public places. He had promised to amend the laws to this effect in September 2017, a few months after the North Goa District Police had ordered a crackdown against drinking at public places following complaints filed by the locals. The latter