Goa`s Sunburn festival to be drug free: Manohar Parrikar

Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said Sunday he will ensure that the Sunburn 2012 music festival on the beaches of Candolim in Goa remains free of drugs.

"There will be no smoking allowed at the festival venue. It is going to be a smoke-free event, and the government will make sure it stays that way," Parrikar said, adding that only an "in principle" nod has been given to the organisers of Sunburn 2012.

Parrikar said police would be keeping a strict watch at the festival to ensure that the event stays drug-free.

"My government has already said that there will be zero tolerance to drugs, crimes against women and children, and prostitution. We will keep that promise," he said.

"If laws are violated and the officials concerned do not take action, then I will take action against the officials," Parrikar said.

Smoking in public places under the anti-smoking law attracts a fine of Rs.100.

In 2010, Parrikar - then an opposition leader -- had said that drugs were openly sold at the music festival that year, a charge which the organisers had categorically refuted.

Parrikar`s accusation had come after a young woman from Bangalore died at the music festival. A post-mortem examination report later revealed that 23-year-old Meha Bahuguna had died of a drug overdose.

Parrikar added here Sunday that no formal permissions had been granted to the organisers for this year`s festival yet.

Grammy Award winning DJ Paul Van Dyk, trance ace Sander Van Doorn, Dutch DJ Fedde Le Grand, Grammy nominee Brian Transeau (BT), Latin house legend Roger Sanchez along with DJs Richard Durand, Arnej and Dutch duos W&W and Showtek are expected to perform at the festival, which is now in its sixth year.

The three-day festival is scheduled to begin Dec 27.