Goa advertising festival promotes drugs, claims Parrikar

April 8th, 2010 - 7:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Panaji, April 8 (IANS) The Goa Fest 2010, an advertising festival of top billing being held at the picturesque Cavellosim beach, promotes drug use and attracts narcotics cartels, former state chief minister Manohar Parrikar said Thursday.
Speaking at a press conference at the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters in Panaji, Parrikar also alleged that the state government had indiscriminately given permission for the Goa Fest, organised by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), in blatant violation of coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) and sound pollution norms.

“Festivals like the Goa Fest attract a lot of drug cartels indirectly, who flock to such festivals to sell drugs. All these festivals tend to promote drugs,” Parrikar, who is Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, said.

Goa Fest 2010, a three-day advertising and communications festival April 8-10, organised by the AAAI and the Advertising Club Bombay (ACB), got under way Thursday at Utorda beach.

Branded as the ‘Survival of the Freshest’, the Goa Fest 2010 is being held in an air conditioned dome at the Cavellosim beach, which Parrikar said was in violation of the CRZ norms.

“They have erected a dome right on the beach extending into the water. This is in violation of the CRZ norms. They have also been given permissions from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. which is violative of noise pollutions norms in Goa,” Parrikar said.

He alleged that political pressure from the highest quarters had resulted in quick permissions for the event organisers.

“They had applied for permission with the tourism department March 28, which is a Sunday and they have been given clearances from multiple agencies within a week of the application which is impossible,” Parrikar said.

Referring to the tragic death of Bangalore’s young girl Meha Bahuguna due to drug abuse at the Sunburn music festival last year, Parrikar said the government should immediately clarify its policy for granting permissions for such festivals, which he said “are spoiling the image of Goa”.

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