The Karukera One Love Festival, which saw a stage being constructed in the waters of Maracas Bay, will go on as planned, despite public concern.
The organisers of the event Karukera One Love, which originated in Guadeloupe, said yesterday all approvals were granted for the event.
The event has been billed as a fete in the waters of Maracas Beach on Carnival Friday.
The installation of the stage immediately raised a wave of concern about the safety of patrons. UDeCOTT which manages the Maracas Beach facility went on record to say that it was halting the construction because all approvals were not granted.
But yesterday the organisers said everything is in place for the event.
“The Karukera One Love (KOL) organization has acquired all necessary documented permissions from the appropriate local state agencies and other stakeholder bodies in Trinidad and Tobago. We are an organization that will always abide by all laws in the respective terrorities that we work.”
Guardian Media was told that the permissions came from the Fire Service, the Police Service, lifeguards, the Commissioner of State lands and UDeCOTT.
The organization added, “there is a thorough inspection process for all KOL infrastructure...all necessary verifications and meticulous checks are done to ensure maximum safety for all.”
But the Institute of Marine Affairs said it was not consulted concerning next week’s Karukera One Love Festival.
When contacted yesterday the IMA said while they were not a regulatory body that could grant or deny approval for events, they would be consulted by the Environmental Management Authority concerning events that take place at sea.
The IMA confirmed that they were not contacted by the Environmental Management Authority concerning the event.
It is standard practice that all major Carnival events or concerts seek approval from the Environmental Management Authority before an event is held.
In many cases, the EMA will post public notices about the event, particularly those held in residential areas, asking if any stakeholders raised any objection to the event being held at a specific location.
The EMA also has the authority to shut down ongoing events, if they are found in breach of the agreements listed in the event’s approval.
This is usually enforced for noise pollution violations, which has seen several Carnival fetes over the years stopped abruptly or organisers mandated to shut off portions of their sound system to allow the event to continue at the prescribed decibel level agreed.
When contacted yesterday Corporate Communications Manager of the EMA Wendell Constantine confirmed an application for the event was made to the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), but the application submitted was concerning “Noise Variation.”
In an emailed response Constantine explained, “A Noise Variation is a permit that allows a deviation from the prescribed standards of the Noise Pollution Control Rules (NPCR), but also limits the level of sound that can be emitted and stipulates other sound abatement measures.”
The statement added, “On receipt of the application, the applicant was requested to confirm the exact location of the event on Maracas beach and where the speakers would be placed. The applicant provided a site map and the application was processed based on the information provided to the EMA.”