On Saturday, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar granted official permission to Ganpati pandals in Pune to use loud speakers till 12 am for five days during the festival this year.
Pawar attended a joint meeting organised for the Ganpati pandals in the city, with city police commissioner Gulabrao Pol, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Mayor Vaishali Bankar, Commissioner Mahesh Pathak and all city MLAs and MPs at Balgandharv Rangmandir.
As per the Supreme Court ruling and Central Pollution Control Board directives, each state government allows every state to use loudspeakers for 15 days in a year. The Maharashtra government has permitted the use of loudspeakers for three days during the Ganpati festival.
Pawar also agreed to grant another day to the Ganpati festival which was allotted for May 1 — Maharashtra Day — celebrations.
The decision was opposed by Vijay Bhat, a senior citizen staying in suburban Bibwewadi area in Pune. He said, “This is utter madness. Clearly, nobody is thinking about the common man who doesn’t want to bear the noise.” The idea was also opposed by environmentalist Sujit Patwardhan and Ranjeet Gadgil.