Overloaded with complaints about the rise in alcohol consumption by locals and tourist in public areas like beaches, roads and highways causing inconvenience, Goa government officials have introduced a new amendment to exercise the law which recommends identification of ‘no alcohol consumption zones’ across Goa.
According to this survey, alcohol consumption among men and women has risen. It indicates that 44.7 per cent men consume alcohol. The percentage of women consuming alcohol has also gone up from 2.1 per cent a decade ago to 4.2 per cent during 2015-16. Interestingly, a higher percentage of women in rural areas consume alcohol against the urban, but in case of men, the trend is opposite.
Therefore to curb this menace, those found drinking in the ‘no alcohol consumption zones’ will be fined up to ₹10,000. It occurred to me that this fine is higher than most traffic violations such as ‘dangerous and rash driving’ (₹1,000) or violations of ‘standards prescribed for road safety’, (₹1,500), which in many cases result in loss of life.
“Government is receiving a number of complaints of consumption of liquor in open spaces,” states the Goa Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which was introduced in the ongoing monsoon session of the Goa assembly.
It further states that upon consumption of liquor, the bottles and cans are strewn around causing harm to pedestrians and the environment. Intoxicated tourists have been known to cause nuisance to general public and disturb peace in the area thereby posing a threat to the law and order situation. According to the bill, no person shall consume alcohol in a ‘no alcohol consumption zone’ and those who do can be fined Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 10,000.
Goa is a popular tourism and nightlife destination, mostly for its cheap alcohol. This is a long overdue bill to peg the liberal excise regime on alcohol in Goa.
But, “is the fine a bit too hefty?” Also, “how well will it be implemented?’, are the two main questions that are hovering in the air at the moment. I guess we will have to wait and see.
Image Credits: Final Report