06 Feb 2023  |   06:11am IST

Liquor bottles and beer cans leave daily testimonies of public drinking in the Fontainhas heritage belt

Latin quarter becomes public drinking quarter; residents say folks connected to the casino nightlife and domestic tourists consume alcohol and smoke in the open and create a nuisance in the area
Liquor bottles and beer cans leave daily testimonies  of public drinking in the Fontainhas heritage belt


PANJIM:  The famed and charming Latin quarter of Fontainhas and Sao Tome have become the public drinking quarter of Panjim.

As dusk turns into night, some of the quaint by-lanes lined with homes, with each brick built with heritage and nostalgia, turn into an illegal platform for open drinking. 

The ravages of the night leave in their wake beer cans, broken beer bottles, wrappers of chips, and other snack packets, enveloping the area into a filthy site.

 Not surprisingly, this has irked the local residents many of whom are senior citizens. According to residents, most of the drinkers are associated with the casino nightlife, including domestic tourists who create a nuisance in the area.

Locals claimed that they bring parcels of snacks and liquor bottles, and beer cans from nearby wine shops and bars. They park their vehicles along the Fontainhas streets, sit on them and eat drink, and litter. 

Sometimes they even fight among themselves.

“They create ruckus late evening and sometime in the wee hours of the morning causing immense inconvenience to us. The government should penalise them and run an awareness campaign in the city against public drinking,” a local resident said.

 “Drunkards get into our residential on their motorbikes and occupy our parking places. They throw liquor bottles, packets of chips, and other stuff. They are not bothered about cleanliness and we don’t know for how long this will continue and what will happen in the future,” Sergio Dias, a resident of Sao Tome area said.

He urged the authorities to take the required steps to curb the illegal activities so as to preserve and protect the heritage character of Fontainhas.

Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) councillor Shubham Chodankar said that open consumption of liquor is happening across the city adding that the authorities including the police should take necessary action to curb this menace.

“We should identify all areas where public drinking is taking place. Police should intensify night patrolling and should get hold of people violating the law of the land. Locals should also share information with CCP and the police and seek action,” Chodankar said.

Deputy Mayor of CCP, Sanjeev Naik said that CCP with the help of Panaji police is regularly taking action against public drinking and against those creating nuisance.

“We act on specific information. Many a time I personally visit these areas, and we call the police and ensure that they are detained. We will request the police to intensify the patrolling and take appropriate action,” Sanjeev Naik said.

Panjim Police Inspector (PI) Nikhil Palekar said that police regularly crack down on drinking in public places.

“We do regular patrolling and keep strict vigil to prevent any illegal activities. We are taking action against people who are found drinking in public places. I urge citizens to reach out to us and we will take action,” Palekar said.

 For the beleaguered residents of Fontainhas, these promises and assurances will matter only when the menace really stops and waking up to remnants of the drunken excesses of the previous night stops becoming a disgusting daily routine.