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For a world record, PMC to splurge Rs 70 lakh on 5,000 dhol tashas during Ganeshotsav

The Pune Municipal Corporation is planning to spend Rs 2 crore to celebrate the 125th Ganesh festival in the city. Activists feel it is a wastage of the tax payers money and that the civic body should concentrate on improving city infrastructure.

pune Updated: Aug 03, 2017 14:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
The PMC has decided to hold the mega event of playing dhol tasha at SP College ground during the Ganesh festival.(HT Representative photo)

The ambitious aim of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to make a world record of holding the largest dhol tasha show and spending Rs70 lakh for it is just a part of the Rs 2 crore-125th Ganesh festival celebrations. Dhol tasha event (street drummers using snare and bass drums strung around their waists, both male and female) is an important part of Ganeshotsav.

Activists have expressed their disappointment over the PMC’s splurge.

Civic activist Satish Khot criticised the municipal corporation for spending money on a festival. Khot said that it is wastage of taxpayers’ money. Ideally, the civic body’s main duty is to do basic work and give better infrastructure to the citizens but the civic body is spending unnecessarily on various things, including this festival.

Vijay Kumbhar, RTI activist, also objected to the way PMC is spending on various festival. As per Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation act 1949, PMC cannot give more than Rs3 lakh to celebrate any festival. For the above amount, it needs to take permission from the state government.

Kumbhar said that while PMC is taking loan for executing the 24x7 water scheme, spending money on this festival is unnecessary. “Actually, it is administration’s duty to stop such spending on festivals but it is also keeping mum,” he said.

As this is the 125th year of the Ganesh festival, PMC had decided to advertise it at the national and international level and for the first time in its history they made a budgetary provision of Rs 2 crore. The standing committee, which is empowered to take any financial decision in the municipal corporation, approved Rs 2 crore for celebrating the festival.

The PMC has decided to hold the mega event of playing dhol tasha at SP College ground during the Ganesh festival. It has planned to bring 5,000 dhol tasha players to this ground to perform together. PMC claims that it would be a world record if 5,000 dhol tasha players play together on the same ground. As per the PMC estimate, Rs 70 lakh will be needed for this event.

Standing committee chairman Murlidhar Mohol said that the committee had approved Rs 2 crore. The Opposition is of the view that PMC is planning to spend Rs 10 crore on the event but all these are allegations and it will spend only Rs 2 crore.

Mayor Tilak is eager to celebrate the event. Leader of the House in PMC, Shrinath Bhimale, said that they are also planning to appoint Sachin Tendulkar as the brand ambassador for the 125th year of the festival.

Recently, the Opposition party leaders Chetan Tupe from Nationalist Congress Party and Arvind Shinde from Congress opposed the spending of money on the festival. Shinde alleged that the administration is also asking private companies to sponsor various programmes during the festival. Considering the Opposition’s allegations, the ruling BJP put the docket in front of the standing committee for approval.

First Published: Aug 02, 2017 16:26 IST