Dhol Tasha Practice: Pune Police Urged to Address Noise Concerns Early

Notable practice locations include areas near the Bhide Bridge, Raja Mantri Road, Rajaram Bridge, Canal Road, and Warje.
File photo
File photo

Pune: With just two months to go before the upcoming Ganeshotsav 2024, Pune citizens are calling on city police to take a clear stance on the use of drums, tashas, speakers, and LED lights during the festival and processions.

Concerns have been raised about the health hazards posed by loudspeakers, and vigilant local representatives are expected to address this issue in the legislature.

The nature of Ganeshotsav celebrations in Pune has rapidly changed over the past few years. The number of dhol-tasha groups has grown significantly, with practice sessions starting two months in advance and lasting three to four hours in the evenings, causing considerable disturbance to nearby residents.

Notable practice locations include areas near the Bhide Bridge, Raja Mantri Road, Rajaram Bridge, Canal Road, and Warje. As practice sessions commence, citizens frequently lodge complaints with the police, who often respond with formal regulations but fail to enforce them strictly.

Some local representatives have been seen attending the inaugural sessions of these drum practice groups. The inclusion of around 100 or more instruments in these sessions generates noise that can be bothersome to many residents.

While these traditional instruments receive public support, both the police and the musicians must ensure that the practice sessions do not cause prolonged distress to citizens.

The traditional Ganesh Visarjan processions have increasingly featured loudspeakers, causing significant discomfort to senior citizens, women, and children over the past two years.

Consumer councils and NGOs have filed a petition in the High Court seeking a permanent ban on DJs. Previously, last-minute bans led to claims of financial losses and pre-booked commitments by organizers.

With two months remaining before the festival, there is a need for representatives, police, Ganesh Mandals, NGOs, and vigilant citizens to collaboratively establish a clear policy.

Last year, Pune Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar emphasized the need for stringent measures against disruptive noise, pointing out the serious health risks involved.

Pune Police Commissioner Amitesh Kumar has indicated that a meeting will soon be organized to address the practice sessions of dhol-tasha groups, procession performances, and the use of DJs.

Police officials will discuss the issue with all relevant stakeholders to establish a regulatory framework for drum groups and sound professionals.

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