The Goa government will ban liquor consumption at a few spots like religious places with the state Excise Department likely to implement the ban from next month, officials said on Thursday. The government’s move comes as part of its efforts to project the state as a “family tourist destination”.
“Excise department is in the process of implementing the recent amendment to State Excise Act which includes ban on drinking at some public spaces. The ban is most likely to come in force from mid-November this year,” Superintendent of Excise Department, Satyawan Bhivshet said. He said the ban will curb the nuisance by tourists after consuming alcohol at some public places.
The department will identify and notify the list of places which mostly will include religious structures and heritage spots. The Goa government in August this year had amended the Excise Duty Act, 1964, to make penal provisions for the people drinking in places identified as ‘No Alcohol Consumption Zones’. The Act has specified penalty ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 for the violators.
Another excise official, on condition of anonymity, said powers of the department in the Act are described and special squads are being put in place to crackdown on the violators drinking in such zones. Earlier, the government, while introducing the bill in the Assembly had said, “The government is receiving a number of complaints of consumption of alcohol in open spaces, public spaces, beaches, public roads, state and national highways, mostly by visiting tourists.”
Placed before the House by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, the bill further read, “Upon consumption of liquor, the bottles and cans are strewn around causing environmental degradation. Such persons after being in an inebriated state cause nuisance to general public, disturb the peaceful order in the area and cause local tension thereby posing law and order situation on a regular basis.”