The Allahabad high court on Thursday granted permission for installation of a music system at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, is scheduled to attend the “Ganga Arti” on Saturday.
A specially-constituted bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Dilip Gupta ruled that the Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) could go ahead with erecting a pole at the Ghat for installation of the music system.
However, it also emphasised that care must be taken while playing music; it should not be louder than permissible limits and should not be played earlier than 6am or beyond 10pm, as that can be inconvenient for those residing in the vicinity.
The order came on a special application filed on Wednesday by the Uttar Pradesh government through the chief standing counsel (CSC) Ramesh Upadhyay.
The CSC had submitted the application while hearing a matter related to cleaning of the river Ganga, on which the court had ruled that there must be no fresh constructions within a distance of 200 metres from the banks of the river in Varanasi.
The application was also submitted in a bid to boost tourism in the ancient temple town, with the VDA proposing to erect similar poles and music systems at Sheetala Ghat and Rajendra Prasad Ghat for which a separate application would be filed later.
On a query from the court, the CSC also submitted that the VDA had “already made necessary preparations” and the pole would be erected in time, although only two days are left for the prime ministers’ visit.