Beer mug at the beach. Photo: Radiokukka
If you’re still dreaming of beer at the beach in Goa, you should know the state will have none of it. Under the new rules, you and your gang could be fined up to Rs10,000 for drinking on the beach, which by the way, is against the law. The decision comes after locals woke up to beaches littered with bottles on New Years’ Day.
Goa’s new rule
State Tourism Director Menino D’Souza said that signboards have been installed in multiple places to warn people against drinking on beaches. Individual violators will be imposed with a fine of Rs2,000 and groups will have to pay up Rs10,000 for the same. To be sure, you can drink at the shacks or beachside restaurants, but carrying your tipple to the sands is not allowed.
While local hoteliers are happy with the decision because it will ensure visitors drink at their outlets, they also hope that significant efforts will be made to actually enforce the rules. So far, it is the police who have regulated beach activities, issuing challans in case of any violations. But a shortage of staff has kept their reach limited. Now, D’Souza adds, a proposal is in place to set up a separate tourist police force to enforce these rules on the ground.
The beaches of Goa are cleaned thrice a day and the state has been spending Rs10 crore every year on beach-cleaning alone. But workers struggle to spot every shard of glass under the sand, often resulting in injuries for unsuspecting visitors. Christmas and New Year’s is an especially difficult time, with careless tourists leaving behind a mess for workers to laboriously clean up the next day.
It isn’t all sun, sand and good spirits after all. If you break the law, there will be a price to pay.