Hsg so­ci­eties don’t need cop nod for garba

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - De­ba­sish Pan­i­grahi de­ba­sish.pan­i­grahi@hin­dus­tan­times.com Soub­hik Mi­tra soub­hik.mi­tra@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Navra­tri prom­ises to be a stress-free af­fair for hous­ing so­ci­eties across the city this year. Rea­son: The state has re­pealed the po­lice’s pow­ers to grant per­mis­sion to host such events or hire or­ches­tras in the so­ci­ety. The nine-day fes­ti­val be­gins on Oc­to­ber 1.

The only po­lice per­mis­sion re­quired is for the use of loud speak­ers un­der the Noise Pol­lu­tion (Reg­u­la­tion and Con­trol) Rules, 2000. These rules re­quire main­tain­ing am­bi­ent noise lev­els and switch­ing off the loud­speak­ers by 10pm.

In the past, hous­ing so­ci­eties had to ap­ply for per­mis­sion (NOC) for ev­ery­thing — from or­ches­tras to danc­ing — dur­ing Navra­tri.

In 1961, the state gov­ern­ment, through a no­ti­fi­ca­tion is­sued un­der Sec­tion 33 (1) of the Bom­bay Po­lice Act, 1951, (now The Ma­ha­rash­tra Po­lice Act), had made it manda­tory for hous­ing so­ci­eties to ob­tain ‘premises and per­for­mance’ li­cences from the po­lice while or­gan­is­ing func­tions on the open premises of the so­ci­ety. How­ever, through an­other no­ti­fi­ca­tion in March this year, the gov­ern­ment (pro­mul­gated through the Mum­bai po­lice com­mis­sioner) has with­drawn these pow­ers, thus paving the way for min­i­mum po­lice in­ter­ven­tion in cel­e­bra­tions within hous­ing so­ci­eties. The re­lax­ation not only ex­tends to Garba or or­ches­tra alone, but for or­gan­is­ing other func­tions and mar­riage re­cep­tions on the so­ci­ety premises as well.

Po­lice com­mis­sioner Dat­ta­treya Pad­sal­gikar told HT that the pur­pose of the amend­ment was to let cit­i­zens cel­e­brate with­out any has­sles from the po­lice.

Indigo Air­lines, which caters to al­most four out of 10 do­mes­tic pas­sen­gers in In­dia, has put a blan­ket ban on al­lot­ment of premium seats with large legroom to do­mes­tic fliers trav­el­ling with chil­dren.

The air­line said fliers with chil­dren (un­der 12 years) are banned from premium seats (rows 1-4 and 11-14), which have been termed ‘quiet zones’ by the air­line. “The pol­icy is dis­crim­i­na­tory. It means you can­not ask for more leg space while trav­el­ling with your chil­dren,” said Pune res­i­dent An­shu­man Sinha, whose sis­ter and broth­erin-law learnt about the pol­icy on Sat­ur­day while trav­el­ling with their in­fant from Pune to Nag­pur. “It is clear that they do not want chil­dren to dis­turb fliers pay­ing ex­tra for these seats. But then why per­mit chil­dren in nearby rows ei­ther,” asked Sinha.

On Wed­nes­day, a spokesper­son from Indigo asked for a day to re­spond, but re­fused to com­ment a day later. But the air­line’s replies on Twit­ter to pas­sen­gers de­nied seats un­der this pre­text were clear. “In or­der to pro­vide a has­sle-free fly­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to our cus­tomers, rows 1-4 and 11-14 will serve as quiet zones. These seats will not be as­signed to pas­sen­gers be­low 12 years of age,” read the air­line’s stan­dard re­ply to fliers al­leg­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion.

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