PANAJI: Goa's popular beach weddings might soon become a thing of the past with a government-funded environment agency recommending a ban on such functions being held in ecologically sensitive zones in the state.
A report, submitted by National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) to the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), has made several recommendations regarding lavish beach weddings held across Goa's coastline, a senior State Environment Ministry official has said.
Beside recommending a ban on weddings in ecologically sensitive areas, NCSCM has also put a cap that such events should not be held for more than three days, the officer said. The report will be soon made public.
In the past few years, Goa has increasingly become a preferred destination for holding lavish beach weddings, which at times run for over a week.
According to the report, over 800 high-end weddings are being organised in Goa annually, mostly in four and five star properties located along the coastline.
The recommendations on beach weddings is a part of NCSCM's final report to be Central government suggesting guidelines for the use of beaches or private lands in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) area for recreational activities such as destination weddings, private parties and night markets.
"Destination weddings on beaches have become hugely popular and successful in Goa. It bring in high quality tourists who spend large amount of money, benefiting local economy and providing livelihood to service providers like decorators, caterers, musicians, etc," the report read.
Unlike Rajasthan where the backdrops of such weddings are forts and palaces, Goan destination weddings take place on beaches and adjacent coastal areas, which includes, setting up of pandal-cum-shamiana on the beach, food stalls, sound and light décor, and sometimes last upto seven days, it said.
While directing the organisers to ensure that there is no damage inflicted on the vegetation of the area such as creepers and other flora, NCSCM has said that the stage set up for such weddings should be done without the use of cement, concrete or permanent material.
Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority and the tourism department have been asked to deny or withdraw the permissions granted to organisers of such weddings, if they are found to be violating the norms.