After the sad demise of three young children due to starvation, The Supreme Court Of India came in between in December, 2018. The court laid down a relation between people dying due to starvation and food being wasted in marriages. They send across a message to authorities to serve public instead of commercial interest of motels and farmhouses hosting lavish weddings.
After this important decision by the SC, the Delhi Government has drafted a policy to cap the number of people which can be invited in marriages.
The highlights of the policy are:
- It lays down that surplus food of marriages should be distributed among the underprivileged through NGOs.
- Venue operators will have to pay high penalties for violations.
- Limit on number of guests as per the size and parking space of the venue.
This policy has been made under the direction of The SC, to manage food wastage, pollution norms and traffic menace in the NCR region.
The policy lays down the following points:
- The maximum number of guests invited in marriages will be decided by dividing the square meter area of the site by 1.5 or multiplying the total number of cars parked by four.
- To avoid traffic congestion, no roadside parking shall be entertained, and only the ones parked according to capacity shall be allowed to be a part of the wedding.
- The policy also directs organizers to register with an NGO and distribute surplus food among the underprivileged and even maintain good quality. It discourages wastage of excess food and demands proof for the distribution of the excess food.
- The use of horse-carriages, bands and firearms shall be banned, and the organisers will have to strictly comply with pollution norms.
- The organisers will also have to submit no-objection certificates from the fire department. This will be applicable for temporary structures as well as tents and others built on open spaces.
- A formal power connection for all events from the concerned distribution company will also be mandatory, and the use of diesel generators will only be permitted in case of a power failure.
- In the view of alarming environmental concerns, the draft policy points at mandatory waste segregation at the venues. A mini-sewage treatment plant at the venue to ensure wastewater shall also be used for non-potable means.
- In case of violations, provisions for hefty penalties have been laid down in the draft policy for the operators of the venues and not the host. Rs 5 lakh for the first offence, Rs 10 lakh for the second and Rs 15 lakh for the third and any subsequent offence. The third offence will also attract cancellation of the licence after 30 days. Hosting of any such event at an unauthorised place will invite a penalty of Rs 15 lakh and sealing of the premises.
The authorities in power
The State Government had formed a committee constituting Principal Secretary for Urban Development, Principal Secretary For Health, Chief Executive Officer of Delhi Jal Board and Member Secretary Of Delhi Pollution Control Committee to draft the social function policy.
The policy entrusts agencies like Delhi Police, excise department, department of food safety, building department, DPCC and urban local bodies with enforcement.
Where this policy would be applicable?
These guidelines will not cover all banquet halls and wedding venues across the city.
“The final draft has been prepared and the rules will be implemented only in farmhouses, motels and Low Density Residential Areas (LDRAs) located primarily in Outer Delhi. The most important aspect of the policy is that the maximum number of guests at weddings will depend on the parking space available at the venue. We are hoping this will help in reducing traffic bottlenecks that are created due to unauthorized parking at social functions as roadside parking will be banned,” said Jain.
Farmhouses, banquet halls and wedding venues in areas like Chhatarpur, along the GT Karnal Road and Tikri Border will come under these rules.