Panaji, Feb 1 All spas which operate within 10 to 20 sq. mts will be closed down and no such spa will be given permission to operate until the state Public Health Act is amended, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Friday.
The Health Minister said no new permissions will be given to start new restaurants in Goa until the new amended law, which gives more teeth to the health officers and imposes heavy penalties, is implemented.
"There is no point having spas which operate from a 10 sq mts premise. I have stopped all permissions for all new spas and new restaurants until we amend the Public Health Act," Health Minister Vishwahit Rane told reporters in Panaji.
"There are spas which operate from a 10 sq. mts place and charge Rs 1,000 for half-an-hour and a bouncer waits outside. What is this going on?" Rane said.
The Health Minister also said that a special cell would be formed to understand the needs of the spa and restaurant industry in Goa, while also promising a crackdown on both.
"Penalties will also be included (in the amended Public Health act). Restaurants (in Goa) are not being run by law," Rane said.
Spas are commonplace in Goa's tourism-friendly coastal fringe. However the Opposition as well as government agencies have expressed concerns about the misuse of spas for prostitution.