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Goa beach parties set to go sober

THE ASIAN AGE. | KAVI BHANDARI
Published : Jul 19, 2018, 12:08 am IST
Updated : Jul 19, 2018, 12:08 am IST

Lalit Ahlawat, director, Soi Hospitality Pvt Ltd also welcomes the move.

Goa’s beaches and fun on the beaches are its primary crowd-pullers.
 Goa’s beaches and fun on the beaches are its primary crowd-pullers.

Imagine a beach in Goa where drinking beer is banned. will this even feel like Goa anymore? We find out what people think of this soon to be implemented  ban on drinking in public places in this party capital of the country

Independence day this year will usher in a different beach mood and an altered celebratory vibe in Goa. Chief minister of Goa Manohar Parrikar recently declared that post August 15, alcohol will be banned on the beaches of Goa and other public places. For domestic travellers who had planned a Goa trip for the long weekend after Independence day, their party plans suddenly seem to have lost fizz. But many others are welcoming the move, and feel it will help address and curb some rising concerns.   

Youth look to Goa as the go-to place — away from the stress of college and work. And the latest news has left them baffled. Entrepreneur Prerna Yadav who has been planning a trip to Goa with her friends says, “This is nothing less than moral policing. A place where people go to have fun is being robbed of its essence — the independence. First it was bikinis being banned as they were challenging our culture, and now it’s drinking. What will be next in their list?”

However, the new rule has been welcomed by many. “I think it’s for the better. It’ll help reduce the number of accidents and drownings on the beaches and pools in Goa. Plus, it’ll help attract more tourists who aren’t in support of alcohol, and improve the local economy,” says Swati Jain, who visits Goa frequently. However, she adds, “But it will also kill the vibe of Goa because mostly youngsters go there to chill and unwind. I support controlled/careful drinking.”

Among the supporters of the move is Raju Bharat, owner of Kenilworth Hotel in Goa. He says, “Some people drink irresponsibly and that leads to unpleasant and untoward incidents. I think this is a good move and will benefit the local people as well as tourists.”

Lalit Ahlawat, director, Soi Hospitality Pvt Ltd also welcomes the move. “I welcome this move as drinking in public places results in issues related to nuisance and cleanliness. Bottles are left behind on beaches, which are often broken or damaged and cause injury. Sometimes drinking in public also sets a bad example for others and chances of nuisance increase. Many cases have been reported of road accidents, and drinking and drowning of young tourists. Such a step will help reduce such incidents. Drinking in restaurants and bars is allowed, which will definitely help the organised sectors in terms of business growth.”

Goa’s beaches and fun on the beaches are its primary crowd-pullers. “There has been 20% increase in tourist arrivals to Goa in past one year. However, the liquor ban on the beaches may affect tourist arrivals immediately.  But when people become more acceptable to the idea, the tourist arrivals are sure to be back on track,” feels Naresh Kheterpal, hotelier and founder and CEO, Span Communications

On the other hand, entrepreneur Nanak Bhatia says, “Prohibitions are made but not always effectively implemented. But this is a positive step and we welcome it. It will make Goa a safer place for tourists and people will be more responsible. The government has finally reacted to the multiple accidents that occur due to irresponsible drinking in public places.” But, he adds, on the flip side “people go to Goa to enjoy themselves. Such a rule will ruin some people’s holiday. As they say, there are two sides to a coin.”

Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar has announced a ban on public drinking in Goa from August 15

While some tourists feel this will dampen the fun, others welcome the move and believe it will reduce the number of accidents

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Tags: manohar parrikar, goa trip, raju bharat