Gujarat High Court Notifies State Government Over Fair Closure at Sabarmati Riverfront

Dev Events approached the Gujarat High Court stating that the sudden closure has caused significant financial losses to the tune of Rs 1 crore


AHMEDABAD,GUJARAT : The Gujarat High Court has issued a notice to the state government following a petition from Dev Events, the organizer of a fair at Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Riverfront. The petition was filed after authorities issued a verbal notice to shut down the fair despite all necessary permissions being in place.

Dev Events approached the Gujarat High Court stating that the sudden closure has caused significant financial losses to the tune of Rs 1 crore. The fair, which commenced on May 16, was shut down following a tragic fire accident at Rajkot’s TRP Game Zone on May 25, which claimed 28 lives. In response to the incident, local authorities across Gujarat halted all fairs and rides, even those with sufficient permits.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Dev Events claimed a loss of ₹1 crore. The company had spent 66 days obtaining approvals, including electrical clearances, fire NOC, ride fitness certificates, and road and building department clearances. An investment of ₹1.64 crore was made for the fair, which covers expenses such as land rent, ride fares, salaries for about 135 employees, and daily expenditures amounting to approximately ₹9 lakh. Despite having approval to operate until June 23, their fair was abruptly shut down after the Rajkot tragedy. The petitioners submitted their grievances to the government but received no response, prompting them to seek judicial intervention.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the counsel for the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and the Riverfront Authority informed the court about a suo moto petition filed by the Gujarat High Court following the Rajkot fire incident. The court had issued an order on May 27 directing the closure of all game zones until further notice, leading to the shutdown of Dev Events’ fair.

The petitioner argued that the authorities had inspected their site and verified all permissions without providing a specific reason for the closure. The AMC and Riverfront Authority’s lawyer countered by mentioning that another operator, Khan Amusements, had reopened a game zone without approval, defying the High Court’s directive. The court acknowledged the severity of the Rajkot incident and emphasized that everyone has a responsibility to adhere to safety protocols.

The court suggested that the petitioner could present a writ petition before the Division Bench for further consideration and address their financial losses. The petitioner questioned why all fair operators should suffer due to the negligence of some, pointing out that 39 out of 41 fair operators in the state supported the authority’s decision, with Dev Events and Khan Amusements being the exceptions.

Dev Events emphasized that their fair was set up on open ground, reducing the likelihood of accidents compared to enclosed spaces. However, the court maintained that the safety measures were crucial and necessary following the tragic incident in Rajkot.

The court has scheduled the next hearing for June 18, where further arguments and considerations will be made regarding the fair’s closure and the financial implications for Dev Events.