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Cannot hold wine festival in Goa on R-Day: NGT

The four-day Grape Escapade, an annual wine and lifestyle festival that was to begin on Friday, has been truncated to three days by the National Green Tribunal as Republic Day will be a ‘dry day’.

The Western Zone bench of the NGT on Friday directed the Goa government to limit the four-day festival (Jan 23-26) to three days, and censured the authorities for promoting sale of liquor on Republic Day.

“The CRZ (coastal regulatory zone) permission shall not be granted so far as January 26 is concerned for holding such festival. Nor any public authority shall allow sale of liquor throughout the state of Goa, which shall be declared as ‘dry day’,” NGT’s two-member Pune bench comprising Justice VR Kingaokar and expert member Ajay Deshpande said in their order on Friday.

The Grape Escapade 2015, is being billed by the host agency, the government-run Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), as one of India’s largest wine festivals.

This year’s edition will see the participation of leading wineries like Big Banyan, Sula Vineyards, Grover Zampa Vineyards, Four Seasons, Fratelli Wines, Charosa, etc.

Musical extravaganzas as well as exotic cuisines are expected to be the highlights of the festival which gets underway late Friday.

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