City marriage halls operating without permission
Maheshwari Bibah Bhawan – a marriage hall - located on KC Das Road, Chatribari, organises wedding functions despite an order issued by Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) constraining its use for residential purpose only.
A source in the GMC said, “Maheshwari Bibah Bhawan was sealed last year,” adding that the hall was unsealed thereafter but only for residential purposes.
“It does not have the permission to organise marriage functions,” the source said.
The source further said that the marriage hall did not have provisions for organising wedding functions.
A G Plus team visited the hall posing as a prospective customer and the manager of the marriage hall, Praveen Thakur said, “The rent of the marriage hall area at the ground floor is Rs 35,000 for one day.”
Thakur said that if the hall is booked for 500 people, car passes for only four vehicles can be given and these can be parked in the hall’s parking lot. The rest of the vehicles coming for the function have to be parked on the KC Das Road.
A senior GMC official said that a marriage hall should have a parking lot that can accommodate at least 50 vehicles.
A local resident of Chatribari said, “The marriage functions organised at Maheshwari disrupt traffic flow. Crackers are burst till late into the night and the music is a huge disturbance at night.”
GMC to act against illegal marriage halls
There are many marriage halls which do not have permissions but are continuing to organize wedding functions commercially. Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has vowed to identify such halls and take stringent action against them.
A GMC source said, “Only 85 marriage halls were identified out of which around 22 have been sealed. Therefore, only 63 are functional,” adding that many building owners convert their buildings into marriage halls without the necessary permissions.
The source said that GMC is conducting a survey to identify all the illegal marriage halls and accordingly, the wedding halls will be disallowed permissions to function as marriage halls.
There are provisions like parking facility, cracker bursting deadlines, garbage disposal mechanism and many other criteria which marriage halls should adhere to.
Except marriage halls like Jashn Grand, Bhabendra Alay and Brindaban Garden very few marriage halls follow all the provision requirements.
After 2014, marriage hall permission could be accorded to only those halls applying with a plot size of 1 bigha 2 kathas, with the road leading to the hall venue being at least 9 metres broad.
A GMC source said that earlier marriage halls started operating without any permission. But after the Gauhati High Court order in 2014, all marriage halls needed to have the minimum requirements. The halls established earlier could operate as residential establishments but couldn’t function as halls organising marriage functions.
Most wedding halls flouting GMC norms
While the GMC, as revealed, does not have enough manpower to keep an eye on all the marriage halls, it feels that most marriage halls are flouting all norms.
A GMC source said, “Maximum marriage halls are flouting norms as they allow playing of loud music and bursting of crackers after 10 pm, which is not allowed.”
The source claimed that most marriage halls do not have proper parking facilities and have been operating this way since many years.
The source also added that in most cases, whenever GMC takes action against marriage halls, the hall owners secure a stay order from the court.
Some marriage halls, after being sealed, plead with the GMC to allow the premises to function as a residence, but after being unsealed, they continue to operate as marriage halls.