While the opposition Congress party accused the BJP- led coalition government of going out of its way to support the beach festival, the state tourism minister said that a final decision on this was yet to be taken.
“Sunburn festival is held during Christmas-New Year period in Candolim. There is so much traffic chaos and confusion, how can the BJP give permission for such a festival in Goa’s already most crowded area? This is a recipe for disaster,” Congress spokesperson Sudip Tamhankar said.
The state government was “under pressure” to grant permission to the organisers of the festival, he added. Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said no formal permission had been granted for allowing the Sunburn music festival yet, but added that the state government’s single window committee for tourism would take a call on the issue.
“The decision will be given in two days. That is when the finalisation will happen. The organisers had in fact applied in June 2012 for permission,” Parulekar said. The minister added that the state government was not averse to asking the organisers to relocate the festival from Candolim, the crowded north Goa beach belt where the festival has been traditionally held, to a relatively quieter south Goa venue.
“Goa is not a big place. If it happens in south Goa there should not be a problem. It is only 30 km away. The difference is only one hour,” he said.
Incidentally, when the festival was held in Goa in 2010, CM Manohar Parrikar, then an opposition leader, had said that drugs were openly sold at the music festival, a charge which the organisers denied.
Parrikar’s accusation came after a young girl from Bangalore collapsed and died at the festival venue. A post-mortem report later revealed that 23-year-old Meha Bahuguna had died of a drug overdose.
Grammy award winning DJ Paul Van Dyk, Trance ace Sander Van Doorn, Dutch heavyweight DJ Fedde Le Grand, Grammy nominee Brian Transeau , Latin House legend Roger Sanchez, along with DJs Richard Durand, Arnej and Dutch duos W&W and Showtek are expected to perform at the festival, which is now in its sixth edition. The festival will begin on December 27.