Clarity on the status of beach weddings in Goa have come out of the quarrel between a citizen activist and an event management company, which incidently also dragged a starred hotel in the controversy.
Resident of Utorda, Aleixio Pereira objected to a beach wedding throughout the week arguing that, “There was a temporary structure being set up for a beach wedding by Park Hyatt at Arossim beach and I brought objection to it on the issue of permission and the issue of erecting temporary structures on the beach. The event management company said they had sought and have tourism permission. I intervened on behalf of the shack owners after they pointed out illegalities in the structures erected, fireworks set up and LED lights positioned on the beach,” stated Aleixio.
Serrao Francis, owner of Cross Craft Events explained that the beach wedding structures are for small parties or exchange of vows and are of temporary nature, on the defensive he further said that three hours is the maximum time that they are in use. Setting the scene he explained that fireworks and lights needed for any event of such nature and the Tourism Department issues us licences for them.
Giving an example of the lights and sound being a permanent feature of all shacks for six months of the season, Serrao said that using it in a beach event for just three hours should not be a worry at all.
Lucros Event Management senior partner, Shyam Haridas, who claims that he was forced to move his beach functions indoors when he was confronted by the same citizens activist, said “We have no desire to break the law yet we must be told what the law is. We will stand in line and get the GCZMA permission if we are in the clear but no one has told us this. We are complying with provisions on the basis of which we have been conducting weddings. Apart from the local NOCs we get the Tourism Department’s permission, but weren’t told that the GCZMA nod is all-important. Simply tell us and we will comply.”
However, the citizen activist taking up this issue, which is before the National Green Tribunal and is up for hearing on January 6, 2017, states that no structure temporary or permanent is permitted within the inter tidal zone that is the space on the beach near to the water and hence anything of that nature needs a Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority clearance thus making it clear that now onwards all beach weddings need the GCZMA nod besides the Tourism Department Permission.
Another person from the event industry, Jacob Fernandes, who runs beach events, said that the event managers are afraid of confirming beach weddings and losing out on business and clientele because although no notification from the collector’s office or tourism department is issued still such claims are being made and hence it’s confusing and also difficult since now it is not clear.
Image Credits: Reynoldweddings