In a move that could take its toll on Goa's tourism sector, drinking alcohol or cooking in public on Goa`s beaches will now attract a hefty fine or even imprisonment.
According to an amendment to the Registration of Tourist Trade act which was approved by the state cabinet on Thursday, a person violating the norms will face a fine of Rs 2,000 or imprisonment for up to three months.
The Bill is yet to be passed in the Assembly.
Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar, said, "We have made amendments in the Tourism Act, drinking or cooking in public will attract a fine of Rs 2000 or imprisonment for three months. The Bill is yet to be passed in the Assembly, we will also issue an advisory."
"We have brought this amendment for those who indulge in breaking bottles on the beach, cooking and drinking alcohol in public places like our beaches," Ajgaonkar said.
"Nobody can drink alcohol on our beaches and tourist places any more. Bottles cannot be carried there. Food also cannot be cooked in the open. All these offences will attract a fine of Rs 2,000. If the fine is not paid, an offence can be registered. The offender can be arrested and imprisoned for three months," Ajgaonkar said.
Those committing the listed offences in groups will be fined Rs 10,000.
The amendment comes at a time when the tourism and travel industry stakeholders have been blaming the government for poor vision as well as lack of will to attract "quality tourists" to Goa even as tourist footfalls to the coastal state have dipped over the last couple of years.
The Tourism Minister also said that once the amendments come into force, after they are passed in the Assembly, photographs of offenders could be sent across to the Tourism Ministry over WhatsApp to a special phone number, following which action would be taken within 12 hours.
with IANS inputs