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Coming down to Pune to witness the dhol pathaks? You might be disappointed as police impose restrictions on them

In the latest move, police have put a cap on the number of members from each troupe who could perform during the festival, according to Parag Thakur, head of the dhol tasha mahasangh, an association of city-based troupes. The dhol tasha troupes comprise various instruments and are known to deploy players in rotation due to the physical toll it takes on them.  

Updated: Sep 09, 2018 16:41:25

By Shalaka Shinde

A dhol tasha pathak practices near Omkareshwar temple on Saturday. (Ravindra Joshi/HT PHOTO)

The dhol tasha pathaks (big cylindrical hand-held drums), which perform during Ganeshotsav in the city, have to undergo a series of meetings with the Pune police authorities weeks before the festival. 

In the latest move, police have put a cap on the number of members from each troupe who could perform during the festival, according to Parag Thakur, head of the dhol tasha mahasangh, an association of city-based troupes. The dhol tasha troupes comprise various instruments and are known to deploy players in rotation due to the physical toll it takes on them.  

In a meeting held on Thursday, the members of the dhol tasha association were verbally informed about certain rules which the police plan to enforce this year. The meeting was with additional commissioner of police, Ravindra Sengaonkar. With the changed top brass of the city police department, another meeting is in order, Thakur said. The rules and restrictions will be finalised in that meeting.  

"We are hoping to meet within the next two days. We were only told verbally about the new plans. Not only do we need more discussion and clarification on the number of people, but we also need more time to play. There will be another meeting held soon," said Thakur. 



“I will share all the details on Tuesday. The dates, changed rules and everything else, I will update on Tuesday,” said additional CP Sengaonkar.

The first dhol tasha troupe in Pune was formed in 1965 by Jnana Probodhini school. Such was the public attraction to their performance that people travelled to witness the unison in which they performed. Over the years, as the number of troupes increased multifold with their practice sessions stretching two months ahead of the festival, people have complained about noise pollution, which led to police imposing restrictions on their practice sessions too.

Last year, the time limit for practice sessions was set at 10pm. The city has over 150 troupes and the Pimpri-Chinchwad and Talegaon area can collectively translate into over 225 troupes, Thakur believes. Every troupe has people from various age groups who start practising after their work or school and college hours.  

Space and noise caused by the practice has been mentioned as a problem by troupes and residents respectively, year after year. The next meeting shall decide whether the problems of residential and hospital areas, where the pathaks practice, will be addressed or not.  

At the end of last year, various pathaks and mandals were booked for noise pollution and playing after the prescribed time limit. The last day's festivities start around afternoon and go on till the early hours of the next day. 

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 16:40:55

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