The Goa government on Thursday approved a proposal to impose a strict rule banning the consumption of alcohol in public. Defying the rules can lead to a Rs 2,000 fine failing which, the accused will face three-month imprisonment.
The proposal added that if a group of people are caught consuming alcohol in public, a fine of Rs 10,000 will be imposed on the group.
Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said that one of the reasons for bringing about the rule is because of the multiple occasions of people breaking bottles, cook or consume alcohol in public places like the beach.
According to a report by Indian Express, Manohar said, "Nobody can drink alcohol on our beaches and tourist places anymore. Bottles cannot be carried there. Food also cannot be cooked in the open. All these offences will attract a fine of Rs 2000. If the fine is not paid, an offence can be registered. The offender can be arrested and imprisoned for three months."
Further, photographs of the accused will also be sent to the tourism department which is in charge of fining the perpetrators.
The proposal is scheduled to be introduced during the Assembly session on January 29, 2018. The Tourist Trade Act will be amended to make room for the new rule.
Goa has seen a steady decrease of footfall over the past year and many have also gone on to say that 2018-19 is probably one of the worst years for Goa, tourism-wise. The report suggests that there was been a fall in rentals as well as a 40 per cent decline in the influx of tourists.
However, it is not known if the new amendment will be a boon or a bane for the small union territory since consuming alcohol on the beaches is one of the biggest attractions for the party capital of India.
Earlier, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had repeatedly promised to impose the ban but it never happened.
"It's not that we can stop low-end tourists from coming to 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," Savio Messias, the president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
"Stop people drinking on the footpath, on the promenades, on the beaches, breaking bottles. 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," said Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo, who represents Calangute constituency.
He added, "Our chief minister is responsible for this. He should have brought out an order banning the drinking of alcohol on beaches. The orders have not come, so nobody can act. We are all helpless. A tourist comes and does what he wants."