GUWAHATI, May 4 � A division bench of the Gauhati High Court comprising Justice Brojendra Prasad Katakey and MR Pathak while hearing a PIL (No.73/2013) filed by Dr Bishnu Prasad Das directed the Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Guwahati as well as the Commissioner, Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) to ensure that no marriage hall can function within the territorial limit of the GMC without a trade licence and without compliance of the criteria fixed by the Corporation for that purpose and also without obtaining the necessary permission from the Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Guwahati. It would be the responsibility of the State Government as well as the Commissioner, GMC to ensure closure of such marriage halls, if any. A report in this regard shall also be filed by the Superintendent of Police (Traffic) as well as the Commissioner, GMC by June 13, 2014.
Civil rights activist and lawyer Bhaskar Dev Konwar, who represented the PIL petitioners said that in Guwahati city as per information received under the RTI, there are 48 Bibah Bhawans/Conference Halls which have trade licences issued by the GMC. But many such marriage halls, clubs, hotels are holding functions without obtaining the requisite clearance from the city traffic police and the GMC. It is mandatory for such bhawans/ halls to obtain NOCs from the SP City (Traffic) for parking as well as NOCs from the State Fire Department, certificate from Assam Pollution Control Board and adequate system for disposal of garbage, etc.
The authorities have failed to regulate and control the traffic congestion caused by the vehicles of the invitees to such functions and pollution caused particularly due to bursting of crackers and playing of loud DJ music late into the night. Recently, some influential parties have allowed their premises near busy traffic intersections or in residential areas to use it for holding fairs, melas, marriage, etc.
The listed 48 Bibah Bhawans/Conference Halls which will be under the scanner of the authorities are Harihar Bibah Bhawan, Junaki, Green Castle, Subha Mangalam, Surya Subham Place, Wood Land, Santi Palace, Hotel Asian Palace, Dorbur, Risthey, Raj Kumar Palace, Sangam, Chandika, Ashwani, Arati Commercial, Jakia�s Palace, Regalee, Shivam, Decora, Paranil Palace, Sarvana, Nuptial House, Parijat Palace, Collaboration, Prajapati, Rishiraj Palace, Bondhan, Kalpana, Bharati, AT Bhawan, Jiya Juri, Ashirbad, Bimala, Utsav, Sarania Celebration Hall, La Sun-City, Jontara, Celestial, Ashirbad Function Hall, Alishan Palace, Bhabendra Alay, Nirala, Lakhimi, Rambha, Amarapati, Divine Wedding, Ramayapuri, Uttam and Manish Bibah Bhawan. In the meantime, some of the aforementioned listed bhawans have closed down or converted their premises for other utilities or businesses.
Already upon intervention of the High Court, Haryana Bibah Bhawan situated at ward no. 18, Narayan Nagar, Guwahati had been closed down by the authorities, as the said marriage hall does not have a provision for parking and had become a public nuisance for the people of the locality.
The Commissioner, Guwahati Municipal Corporation has also been directed to file an affidavit disclosing the number of marriage halls in existence within the limit of the GMC and how many of them have their trade licences and permission from the SP (Traffic), Guwahati. The Commissioner shall file such affidavit by June 9, 2014 after conducting necessary verification. Existence of a large number of marriage halls within the Guwahati Municipal limit is not in dispute and premises which are not fit or feasible are being permitted to hold functions. Traffic congestion in the vicinity of the marriage halls is a serious concern and it affects the movement of persons in an emergency.