Indian weddings have a charm to them, don’t they? They’re grand, captivating and just so much fun to attend! But there’s an ugly side to this whole grandiose. The overindulgence in these extravagant affairs leaves behind tonnes of garbage and also amounts to excessive food wastage.
Recently, the 200-crore weddings of the sons of a South-African based businessman, Ajay and Atul Gupta in Uttarakhand created a scandal after they left behind 4,000 kg of garbage. Though the Gupta family provided the financial aida and labour for the massive cleanup, we can’t fathom the number of weddings each year that cause a similar problem.
In the light of these concerns, the Delhi government responded to the Supreme Court’s anguish over wastage of food and water at wedding functions held in the capital. The policy drafted by the government to keep a check on the wastage of food at social functions in the national capital will likely be notified this month. The Chief Secretary constituted a committee of four officers, including Principal Secretaries of Urban Development and Health, Chief Executive Officer, Delhi Jal Board and Member Secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, to draft the policy.
The draft policy has already been approved by the Supreme Court and it mandates the following:
Check On Consumption Of Food And Water
All organisers and caterers must register themselves with NGOs to manage the surplus and leftover food for distribution among the underprivileged.
"The caterer should make proper arrangements to handover fresh surplus and leftover food to these NGOs," said the Draft 'Policy for Holding Social Functions in Hotels, Motels and Low-Density Residential Area (LDRA) in National Capital Territory of Delhi'. The owner, organiser, and the caterer must have the necessary permissions including FSSAI license from Delhi's Department of Food Safety, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to run their kitchens or to sell or serve prepared food for the guest and the consumer.
Venue Size And Guest List
The maximum number of guests who can be invited for an event depends on the size of the venue. The number will be obtained by dividing sq. metre area of the venue by 1.5, or multiplying the total number of cars that can be parked by four. Procession of horse-drawn carriage and band will not be allowed outside the venue. There will be no firearms and the music should be within the noise pollution limit.
Hefty penalties have been laid for operators of the venues, not the host, for violations. Operators will have to pay Rs 5 lakh for first offence, Rs 10 lakh for second and Rs 15 lakh for the third or any subsequent offence.
An official reported, “Accordingly, the committee after consultation with all stakeholders drafted the policy keeping in mind concerns of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) and Supreme Court such as stopping the use of perennially installed semi-permanent pandals, nuisance of parking on outside road of the venue, safety of guests and general public, stop the misuse of scarce resources like water and stop any kind of pollution or degradation of Environment.”
The idea behind drafting this policy is to prevent food wastage, excessive use of water and traffic congestion. The Supreme Court said such wastage is unacceptable in a city that is witnessing water crisis and has witnessed starvation deaths.
Well, we sure believe that this policy will help us become more mindful of our actions, and help us take preventive measures to stop wastage of precious resources.
Featured Image: YouTube
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