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Of Goa's hundreds of massage parlours, only one is legal

IANS 04 Aug 2014, 17:47:43 PM IST
Panaji: There is only one legally valid massage parlour operating in Goa, Health Minister Laxmikant Parsenkar said Monday.

There may be hundreds of massage parlours that dot Goa's popular coastline, of which dozens are raided every few months.

But the health minister in a written reply in the state assembly said the health ministry "only has one massage parlour officially listed in its records".

And so, other massage parlours existing in the state are not registered with the ministry and as a result they are operating illegally. So, while they may exist, they are not legal, the minister's response said.

The minister also said there are only 30 spas listed with his ministry.

The reply also said the health ministry, which has been empowered to register all the massage parlours in Goa, raided 74 massage parlours and spas for not having valid licences.

The issue of illegal massage parlours flourishing along Goa's tourism-oriented coastline has been the subject of controversy for the last several years.

Goa Police have conducted several dozen raids in the last couple of years and arrests have revealed elements of human trafficking linked to the industry.

The newly formed Goa Salon and Spa Association has claimed that rogue elements in the Rs.15 crore-worth spa industry in the state need to be tackled quickly.