She said that Ganesh mandals should be allowed to use loudspeakers till midnight on all 10 days.
As matters stand so far, such relaxation is given on only three days, these being the fifth day of the festival, the Gauri immersion day and Anant Chaturdashi, which is the last day of Ganeshotsav.
Giving the example of Gujarat and West Bengal, she said that in these states the government relaxed the ban on loudspeakers during Navratri and Durga Pooja celebrations.
Her argument and demand was supported by many Ganapati mandals in the city, though many residents and environmentalist opposed it citing noise pollution.
Misal said information received using the RTI Act showed the government can give permission for use of loudspeakers till midnight on any 12 days in the year.
“The state government is allowed to give permission for loud speakers till midnight for 12 days in a year, and 10 of these days can be the Ganapati festival,” she said.
Vijay Bhat, a senior citizen, said: “It is unreasonable to ask such permission from the government. Three days are more than enough. Why for press more days? These people who are demanding more days should at least think about the common citizens who can’t bear the high decibel levels. In fact, the police should check the noise level stringently and take action on those who are violating the noise norms.”
Environmentalist Sujit Patwardhan said: “It is wrong to ask for such concessions for celebrations during the Ganapati festival. This may lead to an unhealthy competition from other religions as well, and the demands will grow as others also ask for the equal treatment. The government should stop such permissions and allow extension till 12 am only for Indian classical music concerts like the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival.”
Rajneet Gadgil, another environmentalist, also disagreed with Misal. “Asking for more days to play music till 12 am is not a correct demand. There were no loudspeakers in the past when such traditional religious festivals were celebrated. In the larger social interest, the Ganapati mandals should first think about senior citizens, hospitals and maternity homes in the city,” he said.
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