Gone from Goa: tourist state bans dance bars

  • AFP, Panaji
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2013 01:53 IST

Goa, the popular holiday state, has announced a ban on dance bars, further restricting the party scene in a destination once famous as a raver's paradise.

The state has progressively tightened controls on nightclubs and outdoor parties over the last few years after a series of high-profile crimes including the rape and murder of a British teenager in 2008. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has made cleaning up Goa's palm tree-lined beaches a priority to make them more family-friendly.

"Dance bars will not be allowed in Goa. There has been a lot of image-beating for the state due to the existence of drugs and prostitution on the beaches. We will clean it up," Parrikar announced on Thursday.

His administration has initiated a string of measures to safeguard foreign tourists and has ordered police to remain present on the beaches until midnight. Previously police would withdraw after sunset. Goa -- once a laid-back hippy beach hangout known for drugs, free love and music -- retains an image as a free-wheeling oasis in straitlaced India and draws 2.3 million foreign and domestic visitors annually.

But its sleazy and criminal sides were exposed in 2008 by the death of 15-year-old British teenager Scarlett Keeling, who was raped by two men and left for dead after she consumed a cocktail of illegal drugs at a beach cafe.

Her death prompted a crackdown on nightclubs and rave parties, with many forced to close or finish early. "Silent discos"--in which party-goers wear headphones to listen to the music -- have developed as a way to work around the restrictions on outdoor noise.

Local activists say prostitution has also mushroomed in the state in recent years.


also read

Looking for the hottest chillies? Visit Mumbai's Mirchi Galli

blog comments powered by Disqus