Times of India | 5 days ago | 24-11-2022 | 04:39 am
Panaji: The state cabinet on Wednesday granted an extension of another six months for offshore casinos to continue operations in river Mandovi. There are six offshore casinos operating there. Over the past few years, the state government has granted several extensions to the casinos, thus letting them operate from the river unimpeded. The home department along with captain of ports had tentatively identified four sites for the purpose of relocating these offshore casinos. These included the mouth of river Mandovi, near Aguada jail, two locations in river Zuari (east of the bridge and west of bridge, and river Chapora. By public notice, objections were invited to the aforesaid alternate proposed sites. Objections towards relocation of the offshore casinos to these proposed alternate sites were received from various individuals and village panchayats.Since the identified sites were found to be technically not feasible, the issue of relocating the offshore casinos could not be finalised. “Therefore, the cabinet, from time to time, grants extension of the time limit to operate the casinos in river Mandovi subject to the condition that they shall shift the casinos out whenever an alternate feasible site is finalised by the government,” chief secretary Puneet Kumar Goel said. The home department has requested for details to be submitted of alternate sites that has been identified for permanently relocating the off-shore casinos.As the alternate feasible sites could not be made available at present, it is proposed to grant approval for extending the time limit for shifting for a further period of six months, from October 1, 2022.Goel said that the licensees shall be required to be give an unconditional undertaking, as was mandated earlier, that they will shift out of river Mandovi whenever an alternate feasible site is finalised by the government or on March 31, 2023, whichever is earlier.