Panaji hoteliers threaten to boycott IFFI

November 18th, 2008 - 4:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Nov 18 (IANS) The 6,000 odd delegates coming down to Panaji for the 39th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) may have to get their own camp beds along, as hotel owners here have threatened to down shutters to protest against the civic authorities’ decision of not picking up garbage generated by city hotels. The garbage committee of the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) in a meeting held late Monday decided against picking up garbage from 60 odd hotels in their jurisdiction from Tuesday onwards.

Speaking to IANS on Tuesday Panaji mayor Tony Rodrigues said that the CCP was forced to take this decision because they had not been provided with an alternative garbage dumping site by the government.

“If we do not get a site by November 21, we will not be able to pick up garbage from the IFFI venues too,” Tony said, warning that the organisers of the film festival would then have to engage their own private agencies to collect and dispose the garbage.

As the first citizen, Tony’s name incidentally features on the reception committee for the inaugural ceremony to be held Nov 22, where film star Rekha will throw the IFFI open.

Gaurish Dhond, a member of the Goa Hotel and Restaurant Association (GHRA) who was negotiating with the Corporation of the City of Panaji on the garbage issue, said that the GHRA and the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa TTAG, were forced to take the decision, “because of the total failure of the municipal authority in handling the garbage issue.”

“We are made to pay because of the CCP not doing their job right,” Dhond claimed, adding that the hoteliers’ delegation had requested the CCP for more time, which was denied.

The city has been dealing with garbage disposal issues for the last several months now. The present site at Patto has been riddled with malfunctioning equipment, which had severely affected the functioning of five schools in the area.

Nearly 1000 students had marched into the mayor’s chamber in protest and had dumped heaps of dry garbage on his table last week.

The CCP had then asked the government to either give them an alternate garbage disposal site otherwise it would boycott IFFI.

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