Goa tourism industry unperturbed
by smoking ban
Panaji, Oct 4 (IANS) Offshore
Goa casinos, where punters love to push their luck, will not be spared
from the ban on smoking in public places, an official said. Shekhar Salkar,
Goa tobacco control cell in charge, told IANS the ban would be extended
to the several offshore casinos which dot the Mandovi river that flows
by state capital Panaji.
“Casinos are also public
places. They will not be spared. We will not allow smoking in casinos whether
they are docked at the wharf or are floating offshore,” said Salkar who’s
also the general secretary of National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication.
He said that the state health
ministry was in an overdrive and planned an awareness campaign on television,
radio and in the print media from Monday.
He added that although the
act came into force Oct 2, the state government would not fine offenders
||“For a month the task force
will only caution offenders. The law will be strictly implemented from
Nov 2,” said Salkar.
Ralf D’Souza, Travel and
Tourism Association of Goa president, said the service industry had received
the ban well.
“We have nothing much to
worry about. As far as the Indian tourist is concerned, the law applies
all over India, so there is no element of shock,” he said.
“Foreign tourists are used
to such stringent norms in the countries they hail from,” D’Souza added.