Goa government forcing us to leave: casino operators

May 11th, 2009 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Panaji, May 11 (IANS) The Goa government is forcing offshore casinos to move their vessels out of the Mandovi river and park them into a bay “known for choppy seas and unstable navigation conditions”, casino operators said Monday.
The “ill-conceived” cabinet decision to move the casino vessels into the Aguada bay was enforced on the Captain of Ports (CoP) department, which overlooks Goa’s minor ports along the various water bodies, Srinivas Nair of the Association of Offshor Casinos (AOC) told reporters.

“The decision was not taken by CoP. The cabinet decision to shift the offshore casinos from the Mandovi river to the Aguada bay was enforced on them,” Nair said.

The offshore casino operators have approached the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court challenging the government decision to shift the casinos from the Mandovi due to congestion in the river’s navigational channel.

At present, six offshore casinos are parked in the Mandovi river and one more is expected to arrive and begin operations later this year.

The casinos have faced stiff opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and civil society groups that have demanded that the government order the vessels out of the state.

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