The government has granted in-principle approval to two promoters to hold two Electronic Dance and Music (EDM) festivals in the state and asked the applicants to comply with the terms and conditions laid down by the tourism department, which will be scrutinised by the State-Level Permission Committee (SLPC) before giving a final nod.
Tourism Minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Ajgaonkar, while speaking to this daily, said that the applications, which were received from EDM promoters for organising the festivals, have been forwarded to the SLPC.
Tourism director Menino D’souza informed that two promoters who have applied to hold music festivals, have been granted in-principle approval just to give time to obtain no-objection certificates and other permissions from various authorities like police, fire dept and panchayats.
“In-principle approval is not the final nod but the applications are under consideration. They will have to appear before the SLPC headed by the Chief Secretary, who is also a Principal Secretary (Tourism), where all the NOCs will be scrutinised after which the final decision would be taken by the government,” said D’Souza.
Reiterating that he is not against EDM festivals, Tourism Minister Ajgaonkar said that in fact, the government is for such music festivals in order to bring in international tourists in the state, besides promoting other cultural festivals.
He also said that the government will not allow the two EDM festivals at a time, adding, “We will not tolerate drug use during the event and request the home department to keep a strict watch on such activities.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of Police Vimal Gupta told reporters that as the proposal to hold the music festivals is under consideration and assuming that they would be given permission to hold such events, the police department held a joint meeting with the representative of a promoter to figure out security measures that would be needed from various agencies of Goa police.
“During the discussion in the meeting, we also asked the promoter about the expected crowd beside required security arrangements from the Police department and the security that they would arrange for holding the festival,” he said.
The DIG said that the meeting was basically for preparedness of such festivals well in advance.