Deputy Collector’s office has to keep applicants waiting for the Goa State Pollution Control Board’s approval despite making the payments


MARGAO: Frustrated with the lengthy process and delay in issuing sound permissions for private functions including wedding receptions, citizens have called upon the authorities to lessen their burden by clearing their applications expeditiously.

Left with no option, the Deputy Collector’s Office has to keep the applicant waiting for the Goa State Pollution Control Board’s (GSPCB) approval, despite making the payments.

Stating that there is no point in issuing permissions after the functions, Additional Collector Srinet Kothwale said the organisers should not be inconvenienced with regards to issuing permissions.

A Salcete resident Anthony Fernandes told O Heraldo that one of his relatives had applied for a sound permission for a wedding reception, but the permission was issued just few hours before the event.

“My relative had applied for the sound permission on April 8, however, till April 10 (the day of the event), the GSPCB failed to clear the application despite making the payment of Rs 3,000,” he said.

Fernandes said that it was only after following up the matter with the GSPCB and urging the officials, permission was granted and that too, a few hours before the wedding reception.

“The lengthy process, which has been started recently by the authorities, has caused in hardship to the citizens and the organisers. The GSPCB’s delay in granting clearance has caused mental disturbance to the applicants,” claimed James Vaz, a resident from Benaulim.

He demanded that the GSPCB should open a branch office at Margao to deal with the applications from the South district.

The issue is not only with regards to sound permissions but there are several other matters for which the people of South Goa have to travel to Saligao, said Vaz.

Kothwale said that they cannot keep the applications on hold for a long time.

“What is the use of the sound permission after the event? Applications need to be cleared immediately,” he said, and assured to look into the matter and resolve it at the earliest.

“When getting permission for weddings, couples have to run from pillar to post just to get the sound licence for their wedding. It involves three departments: the Collector’s office, the Goa Pollution Control Board, and the Police. Sometimes, the file gets delayed while moving between these offices. And then, the couple has to visit each office in person to submit it. Imagine you have a wedding in Blueberry Hall (Verna); you have to go to the Collector’s office in Vasco to get permission and then take it to the Verna Police Station. There should be an online portal where couples can apply for these permissions online. It would save them a lot of time, especially if they are travelling and planning everything from abroad,” said DJ Claudio Tellis, Vice-President of the Goa Entertainment Association (GEA).

“The current processes for obtaining wedding permissions are undoubtedly cumbersome and stressful for families. They already have numerous responsibilities to manage, and running around for various licences and permissions takes up too much time and energy. As it is they have to deal with the restrictions at the reception. A single-window system for obtaining major wedding permissions, such as sound licences and excise permissions, would streamline the process significantly. This means, going to one location and not multiple offices located at different places and having to come again because of last minute technical issues. This would facilitate a more convenient and hassle-free experience for them. Furthermore, the authorities should provide online instructions to guide couples through the necessary steps as not everyone is aware about what has to be done,” said Ralph Pereira, wedding planner.

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