PANAJI: In a letter to the Election Commission (EC), Goa's Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardesai on Friday sought a relaxation in the 11 p.m. deadline for the sale of alcohol in Goa's bars and clubs, saying the measure would have an adverse impact on the state's tourism-driven economy.
Sardesai also urged the EC to relax noise pollution norms to facilitate unhindered observance of religious activities during Lent and Easter vigil services observed by Catholic Christians, who account for more than a quarter of the state's population.
"Imposing such restrictions on an industry, which is already badly hit and which is the mainstay of the state economy, will cause irreparable damage to the economy as a whole," Sardesai said in his letter, seeking extension of the 11 p.m. deadline for serving alcohol in establishments which are licenced to operate till the early morning hours.
"These apprehensions of the people of Goa have already been discussed with the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Goa and as such we seek your intervention in the matter so as to give relief to the stakeholders of the industry," he added.
Seeking relaxation of the 10 p.m. deadline for playing loud music during festivals, Sardesai said Catholics must be allowed to observe vigil services without being stopped by flying squads under the CEO.
Lent is the 40-day period beginning Ash Wednesday and ending Easter Sunday (April 21), during which Catholics observe fast, repentance and moderation for spiritual renewal.