In a gram sabha meeting held on Sunday, Candolim Sarpanch, Fermino Fernandes informed the villagers that the Candolim Panchayat has decided to put up signboards warning tourists that drinking in public is not allowed. Fernandes further stated that the work is still on. When the issue of tourists drinking on the beach and creating a nuisance came up, locals urged the panchayat to deal firmly with those flouting the law.
This comes on the heels of the Calangute Panchayat kicking off an awareness campaign to create awareness among tourists about “no drinking” in public places and that they can be fined and even arrested if found doing so.
Last week, the Calangute panchayat published public notices in newspapers informing people not to consume alcohol on beaches, streets, roads, or any public places and warning individual offenders of fines.
The Public Notice stated that individual offenders would be fined Rs. 2000/- and a fine of Rs. 10000/- for those found drinking in groups, while refusing to pay the fine can attract imprisonment.
The Calangute Sarpanch, Shawn Martins, said that tourists drinking in public has become a major nuisance in Calangute and does not benefit tourism stakeholders.
He further stated that this issue has been going on for years wherein tourists come and buy alcohol from wholesale wine shops and then go and drink on the beach or on roads and then break bottles and discard them anywhere.
“Recently the State Government amended the Goa Tourist Places (Protection and Maintenance) Act, 2001 making drinking in public places a cognizable offense. The Panchayat, along with the Police, has decided to strictly enforce this (Act) in Calangute” Martins said.
He also added that, as tourists may not be aware that liquor cannot be consumed in public areas, an awareness campaign would be run for the next month. Wine shops in Calangute will be requested to display information boards warning tourists not to drink in public. All tourist spots, like restaurants, guest houses, etc. will be asked to put up signs to inform tourists that drinking in public is not allowed.
Martins said that the ban will be implemented after a month and hopes it will deter tourists from drinking on the beach.