Willy moves bill to allow night music

| 05 July 2000 22:49 IST

Goa is planning to amend the Madhya Pradesh Act, the one adopted by the tourist state in 1997 to control music and noise, in order to allow dances throughout the night.

Though the Madhya Pradesh Control of Music and Noises Act was not judiciously enforced by the authorities for the last three years, the high court in January banned playing of loud music after 10 pm.

The petition in this regard came from one NGO in view of full-blast rave parties being held round-the-clock along the coastal belt for three to four days, thereby disturbing peace in the surrounding villages, especially in the Calangute-Anjuna belt here.

Since then, the state government has been using its discretionary powers the district magistrates has been given by the court to allow use of music in exceptional cases till 2 am, to permit use of music in case of religious ceremonies, weddings or dances held here during Christmas and Carnival festivals.

Chief minister Francisco Sardinha has already expressed unhappiness over the court order, stating that he would get the act amended. "No food is served at any Catholic wedding here before 12 midnight and no dance gets over before 2 am", he admits.

Dr Wilfred de Souza, the sole NCP legislator and former chief minister, has now moved an amendment bill in the ongoing monsoon Assembly session to make it a law. While the court allows use of music till 2 am, the bill proposes to extend it till 4 am.

"The culture in Goa especially during weddings, religious ceremonies, village festivals and church festivals, the people use loudspeakers up to 4 am", says Dr de Souza. As he is supporting the coalition government, he is confident that the private bill would be passed by the time the session ends in July.

The relaxation clause he has proposed allows 'for use of loudspeakers or amplifiers for a period not exceeding three days at a time in specified locality or on occasion of religious festivals and ceremonies generally or in favour of individual for reasons to be recorded in writing'.

Dr de Souza does not agree that this clause could be misused by the rave party organisers to play full-blast high-volume Goa Trance music and disturb the locals as the amendment provides for recording reasons in writing whereas no government could be in favour of such kind of drug parties held in the coastal belt.

But it is also a fact that no such party is organised as a rave party but a simple open air village dance and the permission till 2 am is then grossly violated to continue it till next day noon in collusion with the local police and other concerned authorities.

In fact the opposition Congress is presently making open allegations that Sardinha's coalition government, which is also supported by the BJP, is patronising and encouraging such rave parties and sale of drugs all along the coastal belt.

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