Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Goa Casinos floating in troubled waters

The troubles of the casinos in Goa seem to be just heading for the worst. After being given an ultimatum by the government of Goa to shift the casinos to the Aguada bay, four casinos had approached the high court to seek its help in redressing their grievances.

However there are more challenges in store for the casinos to operate.On Tuesday, the Food and Drugs administration(FDA) raided the restaurants of five offshore casinos and sealed them for allegedly operating without licences. The move apparently followed a complaint made to the administration in this regard. Barring the Caravela, the other five casinos have been sealed for the alleged offence.

There was another problem in store for the casinos as well. The Goa state pollution control board (GSPCB) has served notices on four offshore casinos to close their operations due to their generation of hazardous waste such as used oil, under the Hazardous Waste Management and handling Rules by the GSPCB. It also cites a particular Supreme Court order directing the state pollution control boards to close such units which do not comply with the rules

The notice is reportedly served in the names of casinos M V Leela, , M V San Domino, M V Caravela and M V Pride Of Goa.

In addition, all the six floating casinos currently operating in the Mandovi have also been served notices under the Water and Air acts to apply for permission within seven days or face the consequences thereof.

The copies of the notices have also been forwarded to the Panjim town police Inspector and the Collector who have been directed to ensure the suspension of the vessels with immediate effect.

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