After Mumbai ban, dance bar girls moved to Goa, now face local ire

Dance bar culture, which was banned in Mumbai-Maharashtra in the year 2005, has spread its wings in in Goa.

Facing nuisance, BJP leaders in the coastal belt from North Goa are up in arms against it, caimiming that it is tarnishing the image of the coastal state.

Along with Goa’s BJP MLA Michael Lobo, sarpanch Joseph Sequeira from Calangute constituency, in North Goa, has demanded state police to act against the mushrooming of dance bars in their area, claiming they are being operated illegally.

These elected representatives have also submitted a letter to the state government and the Director General of Police, demanding action.

Sources informed that not only in Calangute, but whereever there is good footfall of domestic tourists, these dance bars are being operated by availing licence meant for ‘restaurant’.

BJP leader Joseph Sequeira told IANS, that around 16 illegal dance bars are operating in his panchayat jurisdiction.

“We have not permitted anyone to operate dance bars, licences are issued only for restaurants. There is no provision to issue a licence for a dance bar, hence the restaurant licence is being used for illegal purposes,” Sequeira said.

“No sooner had the dance bars been banned in Mumbai, they looked at Goa as an opportunity to spread this concept here. My village name is getting spoilt for this illegal trade. This should be stopped. Our elected representatives (MLAs) should discuss this issue in the Assembly session and put a ban on it,” Sequeira added.

According to Sequeira, he has served notices to all the 16 dance bars.

“We have sought a reply from them and have told them to remove all banners and hoardings (mentioning as dance bars) from the village. We will take further action,” he said.

He said that there will be no impact on tourism activities if these dance bars are banned. “There will be absolutely no effect on tourism business,” he said, adding that they are conducting surprise checks.

According to local MLA Michael Lobo, because of these dance bars, touts have become active, who cheat tourists visiting the coastal village.

“I am confident that the police will take action. Earlier, there were 700 to 800 touts. But after my appeal to the Chief Minister, the police acted and now only 200 to 250 touts are there, who operate during night time,” Lobo claimed.

Lobo said that tourists visiting the state should get safety.

“We need to send a message to the world that tourists are safe here. Illegal things should be stopped. Panchayat has given liecnces for restaurants, but they convert them into dance bars. It is totally illegal. I had stopped this earlier, but again it has started,” he said.

“Last time, the panchayat and the Planning Development Area (PDA) had taken action against these dance bars and they were demolished. But again they have been constructed and now 12 to 13 dance bars are established,” Lobo said.

In the past few days, he claimed that numerous incidents of touts have been reported., who cheated tourists of large amounts of money by making false promises.

According to Lobo, various incidents go unreported as most of the tourists hesitate to complain since they are here to enjoy their holiday, and they do not prefer to waste time and energy at police stations.

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