Every year new dhol troupes participate in the immersion processions at the end of the 10-day Ganesh festival, which is now just a month away.
The police have told Dhol pathaks (groups) in the city that after 12 am only traditional instruments like dhol and tasha can be played.
The police have asked these groups not to play tol, which is the noisiest instrument of the lot. Rajashri Shahu Pratishthan, one such group, has said they will not play the tol this year.
This is the first group to have declared this officially, said Pranav Pawar the group adviser. Pawar added that tol is used to synchronise music. He said, “Instead we will use thapi, which makes less noise and is played by hand.
Abhijeet Pawar, the group leader of Rajashri Shahu Pratishthan pointed that it is a good initiative and that other groups should also follow it. “I feel that if the group is small it is easy to synchronise the group, so this year we have decided to keep the group limited to only 60 members”, said Pawar.
He added that earlier the tol used to be smaller in size but now people use larger versions of the instrument, which make more noise.
He said, “By regular practice I feel we will be able to succeed without the use of tol. We practice at the Manorama Mangal Karyala at Mangalwar Peth where any other group who wants to learn about how to play tol differently can come to us and we will help them.”
Deputy commissioner of police (Zone I) Makrand Ranade said that there are around 200 dhol groups which participate in the immersion procession on Laxmi Road.
He said, “This year we have made suggestions to split the groups so that a group of 30 dhol players perform before Ganpati idols of various mandals instead of groups of 100 as every year.”
He added, “Considering the noise pollution during the processions we have asked members of these dhol pathaks to find out a substitute for iron tols, for instance the wooden ones.”
The police hope that many other dhol pathak groups will follow suit in giving up the tol for instruments that are less noisy and more environment friendly.