HC: GCZMA to decide on festivals in CRZ areas


Disposing a public interest litigation fearing holding of Sunburn and two other music festivals in CRZ areas, the high court of Bombay at Goa has directed Goa coastal zone management authority (GCZMA) to ensure that no activity prohibited under costal regulation zone (CRZ), 2011, is permitted.
A division bench comprising justice AP Lavande and justice UV Bakre observed, "In the event the state level permission committee (SLPC) decides to grant permission to the three organizers mentioned in the petition, the decision as to whether the activity undertaken is in compliance with CRZ, 2011 will be taken by GCZMA, who shall ensure that no activity prohibited under CRZ, 2011 is permitted while granting permission to the organizers."
The plea was filed by Alexio Pereira of Majorda against the tourism director, GCZMA, SLPC and the Union forest and environment secretary. Pereira had sought a direction to the respondents not to issue licenses to music festivals "Live From the Console-Goa-2012" at Colva beach, "Windsong Christmas Carnival Goa" at Baga beach, and " Sunburn festival" at Candolim beach.
During the case's hearing, state advocate general ANS Nadkarni argued that the petition was premature as "permissions are not yet granted to the applicants to conduct the events". He contended that there cannot be an injunction against the government restraining them from not granting any permissions.
The court noted that the SLPC is entitled to look into and take decisions on all the other aspects except as to whether the erection of temporary structures sought by any applicant is in compliance with CRZ, 2011.
The court stated that applications, if any filed by organizers referred to by Pereira, have to be considered by GCZMA to ensure that the activity proposed to be undertaken is in consonance with CRZ, 2011. [TOI]