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Nanny state? Arvind Kejriwal led AAP govt finalises draft policy to limit number of guests at marriage functions in Delhi

The minister, asserting that the draft policy does not aim at putting limitations on elaborate processions, as such restrictions will be “practically impossible”, confirmed that once it's implemented, it would become imperative for organisers to follow the guidelines mentioned in the policy.

The Delhi’ Urban Development Minister, Satyendar Jain, Wednesday confirmed that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi has finalised the draft policy that would limit the number of guests at social functions and wedding ceremonies in the National Capital, reports Hindustan Times.

The draft policy has already been approved by the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee.

The minister, however, said that the guidelines will not cover all banquet halls and wedding venues across the city. The policy was being choked out to limit traffic congestion long the borders of the National Capital, clarified Jain.

“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 unauthorised parking at social functions as roadside parking will be banned,” said Jain.

The draft policy was finalised after the chief minister and AAP supremo, Arvind Kejriwal took a review meeting of the same on Tuesday.

The minister, asserting that the draft policy does not aim at putting limitations on elaborate processions, as such restrictions will be “practically impossible”, confirmed that once it’s implemented, it would become imperative for organisers to follow the guidelines mentioned in the policy.

Few guidelines mentioned in the draft policy:

  • Firstly, it would be compulsory to have a mini-sewage treatment plant at the venue, This would ensure wastewater is used for non-potable means.
  • Also, the event organisers will have to take and submit no-objection certificates from the fire department. This rule would be applicable to temporary structures like tents that are built on open spaces as well.
  • In addition to this, all such events would require a formal power connection from the concerned distribution company. The use of diesel generator sets will be permitted only in case of a power failure.
  • A provision to punish those organisers and owners who would use private parking spaces for such social gatherings has been added in the policy finalised by the Delhi government. “If a parking lot cited as per the building plan is found to be occupied by tents and other temporary structures, then a penalty of up to ₹15 lakh will be imposed for unauthorised use of the space which could also lead to cancellation of licence,” an official said.
  • According to the policy, the number of invitees at these functions would be calculated by dividing the gross area of the venue (in sqm) by 1.5 or multiplying the total number of car parking available at the venue, by four, whichever is less.
  • No venue will be allowed to host events for more than 120 days in a year.
  • Relevant NGOs are kept in the loop so that excess food could be distributed. The responsibility has been given to the commissioner of food safety. He has to ensure that the caterers, owners and the management of the venues get in touch with these NGOs in order to manage surplus or leftover food. This could be done by distributing the same among unprivileged people after the “completion of the duration of the function”, read the policy.

The AAP government had in December last year, told the Supreme Court that it is in the process of formulating a policy which limits the ‘vulgar display of food’ at weddings lavish weddings in the national capital.

The submission had come in response to the 6th December Court’s order which questioned water storage capacity in farmhouses. These farmhouses reportedly have the water storage capacity of one lakh litres while other parts of the city struggle to find drinking water. The Court had also wondered that if the state favoured the rich and the mighty.

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