Goa bans sale of alcohol in border village

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Panaji, July 19 (IANS) The Goa government on Thursday banned the sale of liquor in North Goa’s Surla village for 30 days to curb the nuisance caused by tourists.

Issued by North Goa Collector Levinson Martins, the order shuts down about a dozen liquor bars and restaurants serving liquor, liquor shops, pubs, provision stores, etc in Surla, located on the Goa-Karnataka border, around 60 km from here.

The prohibitive order is aimed at curbing the “menace, annoyance and nuisance created by tourists who primarily visit the place for drinking alcoholic beverages”.

“Particularly to ensure total protection to the vulnerable inhabitants of the village, i.e. children and women who are presently living under possible threat of being targetted by the unruly behaviour of drunken youth tourists visiting the village,” the order said.

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Surla has a tiny population of around 500 residents, but its location along the border of Karnataka attracts a large number of tourists who want to enjoy the splendour of the Western Ghats in the rains when numerous waterfalls sprout, and also to buy alcohol, which is available at cheaper rates, thanks to Goa’s low tax regime on alcohol.

Over the years several drownings as well as law and order-related incidents have occurred in the forested areas near Surla, where tourists have either drowned or engaged in drunken brawls.

In a signed resolution addressed to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar earlier this month, dozens of local residents as well as students listed the fallouts of alcohol abuse by tourists in their village.

–IANS

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