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GCZMA clears the air on sound permit for cruises, casino vessels



Clearing the air over the requirement of CRZ clearance for  facilitating sound permission to  cruise and offshore casino operators, the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority  has told the North Goa district collector that it cannot grant permissions for sound and operation of cruises and casino vessels  as their  operations   do not come under the purview of CRZ Notification 2011.

The authority’s decision has ended the confusion that prevailed for past one and half year after the North Goa district collector since January 2018 rejected all the applications received from cruise and casino operators for failing to get no-objection certificate from the GCZMA to facilitate the issuance of sound permission.

The district collector will now take a call on the GCZMA decision  after the office receives clarification on the non-requirement of CRZ clearance.

The collector had written letters to the GCZMA, seeking  clarification on the matter as the water body comes under the CRZ purview.

It is pertinent to note here that the cruise and  casino vessel operators had exploited the loophole, continuing playing loud music in violation sound norms.

At its 198th meeting held on May 10, the GCZMA had noted that the state government has notified district collector and various other authorities under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and  Control) Rules, 2000 as competent authority to issue  sound permission under the act. Hence  GCZMA’s  approval is not required

Thereafter a letter had been written seeking clarification from the district collector as to why applications for sound permission were  being forwarded to the GCZMA for NoCs.

The district collector had asked the authority in another letter  to clarify on the matter, as the water body comes in the purview of CRZ.

At  its 202nd meeting held in the same month, the GCZMA had decided to write a letter to the collector and  the SDO, North Goa,  informing that the  authority cannot grant  permissions  of  sound and operation for  cruises as the said activity does not come under the purview of CRZ Notification 2011.

The rules laid down under the cruise policy mandates the  vessel operators to keep noise levels to a reasonable level, as prescribed by the noise pollution committee appointed by  the High Court and stipulated by the guidelines issued by the Goa State Pollution Control Board from time to time.

Unreasonable noise levels may result in action being taken by the authority or Goa Police by enforcing the Noise Pollution (Regulation & Control) Rules, 2000.

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