Organisers of Dahi Handi events in the city have welcomed the High Court’s decision to not pass directives on the festival and leave the task to the state government. Ashish Shelar, legislator and president of the BJP’s Mumbai unit, said “justice’ had been done to the Dahi Handi organisers. “The BJP government put forth the side of Dahi Handi mandals positively. The government took the stand of celebrating the festival by abiding to all safety rules. The issue was being followed up at various levels for the past two years,” said Shelar. He further said the government filed a detailed affidavit explaining all the measures to ensure the safety of Govindas.
NCP leader Sachin Ahir, who organises Sankalp Pratishthan Dahi Handi at Worli, said the state should come out with a detailed circular immediately. “That will help bring more clarity about the responsibility of the organisers and the mandals,” he said. The Yuva Sena also welcomed the decision, stating it would celebrate Dahi Handi with great fervour. “We are not interested in the commercialisation of the festival, but in celebrating it. So, we will give prizes to all participating mandals, irrespective of the height of their pyramids. Also, we will abide by all the directions of the High Court and will ensure the safety of Govindas,” said Varun Sardesai, an organiser of the Yuva Sena’s Dahi Handi in Dadar.
Jitendra Awhad, NCP legislator from Thane who organises Sangharsh Dahi Handi, said, “We were the first to move Supreme Court against the High Court stay in 2014. The BJP was nowhere in the picture then. It is our victory and we welcome the decision.”
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis reviewed preparedness for Ganeshotsav with authorities on Monday. Fadnavis directed the police to be sensitive during the festival for its peaceful celebration. The traffic department should ensure proper crowd management considering the ongoing Metro work in Mumbai, he said. Ganesh mandals said they were hopeful of pandals being allowed in silence zones.
“After our meeting with the CM, we are positive of the authorities accepting our demands. We believe the government will consider allowing pandals in silence zones. We will abide by all the regulations and guidelines,” Naresh Dahibawkar, president of Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, said. Dahibawkar claimed 80 per cent of the mandals in the city lie in silence zones, adding there was confusion over the exact demarcation of these zones.