In no surprise, the state cabinet on Wednesday granted off-shore casinos another six-months extension to allow them to operate in the River Mandovi. The state government, by granting the extension said that it is yet to identify an alternate site as to where the vessels can be shifted.
The government, over the years, has kept granting the off-shore Casino extensions to operate within the River Mandovi limits. The six vessels currently operate between the Panaji and Betim area of the river.
The home department, along with the Captain of Ports (CoP) had tentatively identified four new sites for the relocation of these vessels.
One of them is near Old Aguada jail, and two other locations on the Zuari and Chapora rivers.
However, the cabinet said that objections for the same new sites were received from various village panchayats and individuals.
The government said that since the identified sites were found to be technically not feasible, the issue of relocating them from the Mandovi could not be finalized.
The cabinet has been repeatedly granting the casinos an extension from time to time, on a condition that they will shift out whenever a feasible alternate location is finalized by the government, which, however, doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon.
Off-shore casinos in the state continue to be shut amid the pandemic situation and the state government has not yet decided whether they should be open for visitors or not.