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Ban, no ban, ban again on Goa beach parties

Ban, no ban, ban again on Goa beach parties

State govt bans festivities in open areas from Dec 23 to Jan 5.

Panaji: The Goa government on Saturday banned parties on beaches and other open areas from December 23 to January 5. It had first come up with this ban two days back but then revoked it.

"Taking into consideration all aspects, we have decided that beach parties would not be allowed from December 23 to January 5," Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat told reporters outside his official residence.

Kamat said that the authorities were reviewing the security scenario in Goa every day.

He said the decision to ban outdoor parties and gatherings was taken following a high-level security review meeting. The meeting held Saturday morning was attended by Kamat, Chief Secretary J P Singh and Home Minister Ravi Naik.

"However there will be no ban on functions held in the hotels. The traditional celebrations will go on uninterrupted," Naik said.

The festive week that begins from December 25 and culminates January 1, includes the immensely popular midnight masses at various churches, which are attended by millions of Christians all over the state.

On December 18, the home minister banned parties on beaches and open areas on the recommendation from the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) due to security reasons. The ban was revoked within a couple of hours by the chief minister.

Goa, which in the past saw nearly two million tourists flocking to its beaches each tourist season, is witnessing its worst season yet and the government's decision to ban beach parties is expected to hurt the state's tourism and the entertainment industry further.

first published:December 20, 2008, 19:07 IST