Three offshore Goa casinos sealed for violating pollution norms

March 24th, 2009 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, March 24 (IANS) The Goa government Tuesday sealed three offshore casinos, which were under the scanner for violating pollution norms.
The casinos - Rio, Caravela and Maharaja - had failed to obtain the necessary licence from the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB).

North Goa district collector K. Singh told reporters that officials of the Bardez and Tiswadi talukas sealed the three casinos on the recommendation of the GSPCB.

The GSPCB had March 18 directed all the six offshore casino operators in Goa to suspend their operations, because they had failed to obtain its authorisation under rule 5 (1) of the Hazardous Wastes Rules.

The action followed allegations by opposition leaders that the six offshore casinos were dumping untreated sewage into the Mandovi river, causing large scale pollution.

The state’s Food and Drugs Authority have already sealed the restaurants on board the six offshore casino vessels as the operators had failed to procure licences from their department.

Ahead of the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, the opposition has attacked the Congress-led coalition state government on the issue, accusing the chief minister’s office, the home minister and several bureaucrats, including former chief secretary J.P. Singh, of allegedly receiving kickbacks for issuing of licences and hasty clearances for the offshore casinos.

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