In the wake of the Bombay High Court’s decision to disallow the state government from delegating rights to district collectors to decide the three days in a year on which people can play loudspeakers till midnight, a special meeting has been convened under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on August 22 to decide on the five days when loudspeakers will be allowed till midnight in the state during Ganesh festival next month.
While four days were unanimously decided upon by the state government, the fifth day was decided by local authorities or the district collector in consultation with local authorities.
The meeting in Mumbai to be chaired by the CM will be attended by district collectors, senior police officers and officials of the law and judiciary department.
Collectors of Pune, Mumbai and Thane are supposed to take the final decision on the dates which are to be declared, officials said.
Before the HC directive which came on last Friday, the district authorities in consultation with Ganesh mandals had decided on the fifth day when loudspeakers would be allowed till midnight for the Ganesh festival, as per the practice followed over the years.
However, now with the HC order, the state government will have to take a fresh decision.
Pune district collector Saurabh Rao on Tuesday said that after consultations with the Ganesh mandals, they had decided that in addition to September 10, 11, 13 and 15, loudspeakers would also be allowed till midnight on September 12.
“In the meeting ahead of Ganesh festivities, which will address all aspects of the festival, this date will be discussed. Only then, we can be sure of the fifth day following the court order,” Rao said.
Of the 15 holidays declared by the state government, the collector has the right to declare three of them, which includes Ganesh Chaturthi. in consultation with the state government.
Last week, the HC disallowed the state government from delegating rights to local authorities to decide the three days on which people can play loudspeakers till midnight The HC said that the Supreme Court had given those rights only to the state government and the latter could not delegate these rights to any local authority. The court had lashed out at the state government for failing to curb noise pollution, criticising the casual approach of the state towards the issue.