PUNE: District Guardian Minister Girish Bapat on Wednesday announced that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and traffic police will allow erection of box frames for Ganesh pandals above the height of five feet from the ground. He said there will be no compromise about the action against sound systems and alcohol abuse during the festival.
There has been no decision as to the number of frames that can be erected by a Ganesh mandal. It was decided at the meeting that box frames, which are a major source of income for mandals through display advertisements, will be allowed.
Among those present at the meeting were Mayor Mukta Tilak, Deputy Mayor Siddharth Dhende, PMC Commissioner Saurabh Rao, DCP Special Branch Ashok Morale, Additional CP Ravindra Sengaonkar and other officials of the Pune police.
The representatives of Ganesh mandals who were present, demanded the box frames be allowed and number of such frames be kept the same as last year.
Speaking at the meeting, Rao said the PMC has formed a complaint cell as per the instructions of the court. Bapat said it is not fair to hold lakhs of devotees hostage on the complaint of a few individuals who go to court. He said the officials should also not make the office-bearers of the mandals run around and harass them.
Bapat said there will be no compromise on the issue of the stereo systems and alcohol abuse during the festival. Those who interfere will see their names declared in the public, warned Bapat, asking mandals to have a sound pollution and alcohol-free Ganeshotsav.
Tejas Gaikwad, Chief Convener of Shanipar Mandal Trust said, “This year our mandal will be completing 126 years and till now we have been celebrating Ganesh festival in the traditional way. It means we invite groups playing dhol-tasha, sanai, chowghade and nagadas. We have never invited DJs for the Ganpati festival. But DJ has been a craze among everyone and putting a stop on playing DJ in the festival would affect their livelihood and business on a large scale. Because it’s their occasional festivals and they earn during these kind of festivals only.”
Vishal Kale, Vice President of Shri Navnit Mitra Mandal of Kumthekar Road, said, “Despite putting a stop on DJ, we will invite DJ because that is a kind of craze for everyone these days. And without the stereo systems it does not give the feeling of Ganpati festival nowadays. Our mandal is existing from last 50 years and earlier we used to celebrate the festival by traditional way. But from last 10 years, as the trend has changed we have been calling DJ’s. It is not possible that each and every mandal would follow the rule.”