Ravan effigy burns on Mutha river for first time

Published: 25 October, 2012 09:17 IST | Vivek Sabnis |

No objection certificate not taken from fire brigade to hold event on riverside this Dussehra; organisers claim they had taken permissions from all other departments and were prepared to draw water from river in the event of a fire

In a bid to ensure adequate space to accommodate the rush of spectators for the burning of the Ravan effigy this Dussehra, city based organisation Pune Lokmanya Festival conducted the celebrations near the Mutha River basin yesterday. Interestingly, Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) fire brigade, which usually gives no objection certificate (NOC)for such events, was not aware of this new development.

Organisers need to get police permission and no objection certificate from the fire brigade as per Section 14 of the Bombay Fire Act 1884, and Sub-rule (1) of Rule 135 and 137 of the Explosives Rules, 1983.

Triumph over evil: An effigy of Ravan burning near Baba Bhide bridge on Mutha river on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami (Dussehra)

Ganesh Satpute, a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader and an organiser, said, “We had taken the decision to celebrate the event near Mutha river basin close to late Baba Bhide Causeway.

We got the required permissions from the irrigation department, city police and traffic department. There was no need to take the permission from the fire brigade, as the incident had taken place near the river. We had made the necessary provision for lifting water from the river if need arose.”

Crowds click pictures and cheer as the effigy blazes. Pics/ Krunal Gosavi

Totally clueless
Prashant Ranpise, deputy chief fire officer, PMC, appeared surprised when told about the event on the riverbank. “I was not told about anyone celebrating the event near the Mutha river. As per rule, every event such requires permission from the municipal fire brigade so safety measures are observed.”

Vijay Paranjpe, president of Gomukh, an NGO that had dragged PMC to court for constructing tar roads near Mutha river basin five years ago, said, “It is wrong to allow such events, in which fireworks are involve, near the riverside. We need to keep the river basin and adjoining area free of any activity. Though it is only a one-time occasion, other such groups mayalso follow suit.” 

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