Thursday, March 5, 2009

Goa casinos to float in Aguada bay

The fate of the six floating casinos in Goa seem to be finally decided to be the Aguada bay at a distance of 5km on the west at Sinquerim fraguada for bay viewom their current location in the Mandovi river and they should find themselves relocated within the next 10-15 days.

The casinos have been a bone of contention in recent times for the ruling dispensation in Goa and have been served notices to relocate their vessels. The six casinos which are in the eye of the storm are Caravela, Rio, Casino Royale, Kings Casino, Pride of Goa and Maharaja Casino.

The casino vessels are expected to be floating within an area of 2 square kilometres in the Aguada bay and will be away from the channel used by barges by a distance of atleast 500-750 metres. The spot for anchorage of the vessels will be finalised subsequent to the relocation of the casinos and after discussions with the Ports administration after an introspection of hydrographic charts and records.

However the tentative spot for the anchorage of the casinos is expected to be about 500 metres from the shoreline off the Sinquerim river mouth. Feeder boats are most likely to take the Casino clients to the casino vessels from the current usual points in Panjim.

The casino vessels have in recent times found themselves embroiled in controversies with NGO's , local fishermen and political parties gunning for their removal from the Mandovi river due to different considerations.

While the political pressures from the opposition parties is due to allegations of kickbacks and pressurized licensing policies, the NGO's are demanding a total ban of casinos whatsoever , due to the alleged gambling lure influenced on the Goan population. Also the NGO's have accused the casinos of illegally occupying footpaths and parking on the river front road under " No Parking" signboards and disposing sewage and garbage in the Mandovi river.

The fishermen in the Mandovi however have a third reason which is of the casinos causing a hindrance to their traditional movements in the river and allegedly driving away fishermen.

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