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October 19, 2001
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Top dandiya venues shut shop in Bombay

Shiv Kumar, in Bombay

Navratra celebrations in Bombay will be without the heady festivities of the dandiya ras dancing clubs this year, thanks to environmental deadlines set by the Supreme Court that prohibits playing loud music after 10 pm.

Organisers of the biggest dandiyas in the city have closed their venues after they failed to get favourable response from the Central and state governments to their request to extend the 10 pm deadline of the Supreme Court.

The organisers had been hoping the deadline would be extended to 12.30 am.

An organisers' meeting on Thursday with Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal failed to win any reprieve.

"While two of the big players have decided to cancel all celebrations, others are hoping the situation will improve in the next few days," an aid to lawmaker Kirit Somaiya, who heads the committee comprising the biggest dandiya organisers in the city, told Indo-Asian News Service.

Sources said the biggest dandiya organiser 'Sankalp' featuring singer Falguni Pathak had already called off its performances for the rest of the season.

The dandiya celebrations were to kick off on Wednesday night but had to be called off after Bombay police chief Mahesh Narain Singh said playing music at the venue after 10 in the night would invite legal and criminal action against the organisers following a Supreme Court order.

Somaiya, who is co-ordinating the navratra mandals, as the organising committees are known in the city, has requested Home Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani to intervene, his aides said.

The organising committees have also decided to seek legal remedies against the Supreme Court order, the aides said.

Police officials told Indo-Asian News Service that only the dandiya organised by Smita Thackeray, daughter-in-law of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, at the Andheri Sports Complex had been allowed to continue as the organisers were abiding by the 10 pm deadline.

Indo-Asian News Service

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