Drinking in the public is an offence but Goa being the tourist destination implementation of the same is a difficult task and thus most of the places in Goa except Calangute did not have implemented the No-Drinking law as yet. Calangute receives a huge amount of domestic tourists from across the country and hence the cases of drinking and cooking in public are more visible.
Although the no-drinking law is applicable in the Calangute area but according to the reports police is not doing much to penalise the people drinking in public in this area. Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar on Tuesday held a meeting to discuss tourism-related issues. The department is also yet to install signboards on beaches warning visitors that drinking is not allowed, and violators will be made to pay a penalty.
“It has been decided to meet the DIG to find out why police have not been implementing the provisions of the Tourist Trade Act,” said an official who was part of the two-hour meeting. He added that it was felt police have not shown much interest in penalising people drinking on beaches.
Meanwhile, the Calangute MLA and the Minister for Science and Technology Mr Micheal Lobo said that since the amended provision of the act came into force, Calangute police registered 63 offences and penalised people. He also asked if Calangute can implement the no-drinking amendment then why not other places in Goa do the same.
“If Calangute police can do it, why can’t other police stations,” said Lobo after the meeting. Calangute is the only panchayat so far to have installed signboards that drinking is not permitted and the offence will attract a penalty.
It may be recalled that almost six months before the law penalising people for drinking on beaches and other public places is yet to be implemented. But except for Calangute, no other beach in the state has implemented the amended legislation—Registration of Tourist Trade Act.
Not alone drinking in Public but also cooking in the public places has been banned by law and Persons held guilty of drinking on a beach attract a fine of Rs 2,000. A similar penalty is to be imposed on persons caught cooking in public spaces.
Lobo said it is only in his constituency that the amended Registration of Tourist Trade Act is being implemented because he has been continuously pursuing the matter with the Calangute PI. If the existing rules are implemented in to-to, Lobo said Goa would not require to do anything more to keep nuisance tourists at bay. “Once they are penalised for drinking on a beach or cooking in the open and littering, they will either behave themselves or stop coming,” he said.