Seafood Festival 2024: Government Postpones Miramar Beach Event
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A seafood festival is an occasion where locals get together to celebrate seafood. An occasion like this might be held to promote the regional seafood industry or just to honour certain seafood varieties that are well-liked in a given area. There are other organised events known as international seafood festivals, albeit they typically still take place in a particular locale. Cook-offs and other competitions, exhibit viewings, musical performances, and demonstrations are typical activities of a seafood festival.

The Goa administration decided to move this weekend's Seafood Festival at the Miramar beach to a later, undisclosed date after conceding loss before the Bombay High Court in Goa on Thursday.

The action was taken in response to a challenge brought forth by Patricia Pinto, a former CCP Corporation, and others who questioned the State's decision to proceed with the festival despite having promised the court that no more festivals would be held on the beach. The division bench of the High Court, wearing stern expressions, had started hearing the State's application for permission to hold the festival at the Miramar beach over the weekend starting on February 9.

The Goa Seafood Festival, which was supposed to take place at Miramar Beach on February 9, 2024, will now take place on a different date, according to Adv. Subodh Kantak, who was representing the State, and the Director of Tourism Suneel Anchipaka, IAS, who was present in court.

Meanwhile, the State informed the High Court that they will submit a new motion in Writ Petition No. 55 of 1999, requesting permission to modify their assurance from almost twenty years ago, which said that they would not be hosting any further beach festivals.

The petitioners said they filed their petition in a rush since they just learned of the government's plans a few days before the festival, therefore they also asked the High Court for permission to change their petition and include new information.

Because they believed the event would destroy the environment, several Panaji residents and those from the neighbouring districts filed a lawsuit against the government's plan to organise it on the beach before the High Court. A state government ordinance prohibiting food fairs on any beach was also mentioned in the petition.

In a previous hearing, the High Court had questioned the government about any planning that went into the festival's location, stating that half of Panaji is "dug up" and "virtually like a war zone."

The government's submission of documents on the festival in instalments has drawn criticism from the High Court. It has been observed that, similar to the Sunburn festival, the government now routinely grants permissions two days in advance, circumventing judicial review and taking advantage of the public.

A further hearing has been scheduled for March 26.