February 19, 2017 7:29:25 pm
It will be business as usual for the offshore casino vessels in Goa as they are situated beyond the 500 meters criteria decided by the Supreme Court while banning sale of liquor along the national and state highways. The Goa Excise Department, which is currently mapping the liquor outlets along the highways, said that casinos in river Mandovi are 800 metres away from the bridge on the national highway.
The Supreme Court in its recent order has banned sale of liquor within 500 meters of the state and national highway. “If any casino vessel is within 500 metres of the bridge we will not renew their licence. But as per Google Map, they are 800 metres away from the bridge on national highway,” State Excise Commissioner Menino D’Souza told PTI.
The excise department has started the process to implement the order stating that all those covered by the Apex Court directives will not have their licences renewed after March 31, 2017. River Mandovi is home for four off-shore casino vessels which are approachable from the road crossing through Panaji city.
While it is a relief for casino vessels, the cruise boats ferrying tourists will be impacted by the SC order. “The boat cruises are located within 500 meters of the national highway no 17. Right now we have to go as per the law and licenses will not be renewed after March 31,” the official said.
There are four boat cruises operating in Mandovi and the sunset cruises are permitted to serve liquor on board by the Excise department.
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