Goa may ban ‘drunken swimming’ off its beaches: Minister

The Goa government is mulling a law to ban “drunken swimming” off its beaches, state Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said on Thursday.

“I will seriously take up the issue with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to enact a law that will act as a strong deterrent against those venturing into the sea for swimming while under the influence of alcohol,” Ajgaonkar said in a statement.

“Incidents of deaths due to drowning on the beaches of Goa will bring a bad repute to the state and all agencies, including the Department of Tourism, have to act responsibly,” he said.

The action has to be tough, if required, to ensure the safety of tourists, the Minister added.

Ajgaonkar said that until the law was formally in place, an ordinance could also be promulgated before the tourism season that starts in October.

The Department of Tourism has been directed to instruct all shack operators along the beaches to erect sign-boards cautioning tourists from venturing into the sea in an “intoxicated condition”, Ajgaonkar said.

There was need to enhance awareness of the dangers of swimming under the influence of alcohol.

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