Food wastage at weddings: Contemplating to limit number of guests, Delhi govt to SC

New Delhi: The Delhi government informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday that it is contemplating a policy to "limit" the number of guests at "extravagant" weddings and institutionalise catering arrangements to check food wastage at such functions.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur was told by Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev that they have discussed the issues flagged by the court in its December 6 order in which the court had expressed concern over wastage of food and mis-utilisation of water in marriage functions.

Dev, present in the court, said the government was thinking on exactly the same lines as observed last week by the court and endeavour of authorities was to balance the interest of people of Delhi.

"It is stated (by chief secretary) that some alternatives are being discussed and there appears to be at least two options that are available and two-pronged strategy is also being actively considered so that availability of food in functions and the number of guests is limited, and the quality of food is also maintained," the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Hemant Gupta, noted in its order.

Dev said he had discussed the matter with the LG and "there seems to be a consensus between the view of the Government of NCT of Delhi and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi in this regard".

"We can have guest control on one hand and regulation under the Food Safety and Standards Act where institutional arrangements can be made between the caterers and NGOs, who are providing foods to the destitutes," he told the bench.

Dev said there was "artificial enhanced demand" in the society for "extravagant" marriage functions in Delhi.

He said there were reports that presently, the excess food in marriage functions either goes in waste or the "stale" food was used by caterers in subsequent wedding functions which could led to serious health issues.

"Treatment of waste water is also a serious issue which led to environmental degradation. Whatever directions the Supreme Court will give, we will follow. We will have to tackle these two issues," he said.

The bench told Dev that they have to first come out with a policy in this regard and the second major step would be its proper implementation.

The counsel appearing for Delhi government said eight weeks time was needed to come out with the policy.

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on February 5.

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