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Goa can dance till midnight, drink till two
Sandesh Prabhudesai in Panaji | December 24, 2002 23:02 IST
Tourists coming to Goa for Christmas and New Year celebrations can now dance to the music 'officially' till midnight, thanks to the relaxation granted by the Supreme Court.
To add little more flavour, the state government has also decided to officially permit the liquor to flow till 0200 IST.
The Supreme Court had passed an order at the fag end of the year relaxing the noise pollution restrictions for a fortnight in a year from 2200 IST to midnight.
Taking full advantage of it the state has now relaxed the timings for the last nine days, from 23 to 31 December.
Though the court order was passed much earlier, the state had to wait till the Centre issued a notification in this regard. A special gazette notification to relax the time was then issued on Monday at the state level based on the central notification.
The notification will obviously help the midnight Christmas mass as well as the New Year mass, besides the dances and parties being organised by many hotels till late night.
In spite of the apex court ban the state had, last year, allowed open-air midnight masses using loudspeakers, but ensured it did not exceed 80 decibels.
The tourism industry is happy since the relaxation is for all the nine days, which is the peak season for the coastal state, as it gets flooded with thousands of Indian and foreign tourists.
The 15 days, however, will be spread out equitably from the next year, the officials said.
The state excise department has also decided to allow all the hotels, bars and restaurants to remain open till 0200 IST, provided the traders buy a legal license for it.
Earlier the traders continued their business beyond closing hours in collusion with the concerned officials. Now the state has decided to make it legal and earn additional revenue.
More reports from Goa