The high court order of stopping music by 10 pm has perturbed tourism stakeholders. Hoteliers and shack owners feel that the law needs to be amended in the interest of the people.
Music is in the blood of Goans, and being blessed with scenic beauty, the state's ethos is blended with the various music forms. The state sees year-long festivities, social gatherings, and events comprising music and celebrations, which take place especially in the evening in Goa. Considering the year-end and the tourism season, the high court's order to ban loud sound after 10 pm came as a sucker punch to the stakeholders of Goa's tourism industry.
Many people dependent on the tourism industry of Goa, particularly from the coastal belt of Goa, are not pleased about this order. Many people have the opinion that the order will have an adverse impact on the tourism of Goa, the year-end tourism season specifically.
On Tuesday, Goa Forward Party's Fatorda MLA Vijay Sardessai in a press briefing alleged that the Goa government is working towards destroying the religious, social and cultural ethos of Goa under this new order of the high court to stop music after 10 pm.
The state government should have pleaded before the high court, representing the people's side, which the state government has not done. This order implementation will have a negative impact on the tourism industry.
He further said that there has to be a clear-cut distinction between music and noise, need and greed. Only a few people are running late-night party rackets on the coastal belt of North Goa in connivance with the police, and Goans have to suffer due to this.
Sardessai added that Goans celebrate jatras, Catholic weddings and other events in the late evening. These events are celebrated out of need and not greed. Such events should be exempt from this order.
Earlier, on Monday evening, the South Goa deputy collector called for a meeting with the shack owners, hoteliers and open-air dance floor owners to give a briefing about the high court order for outdoor events and restricted permissions for playing loud music.
The deputy collector also directed those present for the meeting not to play music after 10 pm as per the court order and informed them that the violators of this order would be penalised.
Dixon Vaz, a hotelier from Cavelossim, informed the media that they were asked to stop music by 10 pm as per the high court order by the deputy collector of Margao. But the issue here is that Goa is different from other states. If the music is stopped at 10 pm, it will affect the hotels and shacks. The catering, beds, customers and hotel businesses will suffer.
He further said that it is very important that all 40 MLAs should consider amending the law in the interest of the people. The government needs to intervene and take this issue seriously.
When contacted Nilesh Shah, head of the Travel & Tourism Association of Goa, said that there were norms which were already in place long ago. The high court has only said that the rule has to be followed. This order is for outdoor events specifically.
Later when asked whether there should be any exemption to this order, Shah informed that there are exemptions that need to be reconfirmed which are for Christmas, Diwali and New Year. He also opined that if there are any rules, those rules need to be followed.