MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today allowed the organisers to hold the prestigious Kala Ghoda cultural festival in the city for nine days from February 7 next, while ensuring proper hygiene, regulating collection of garbage and seeking strict implementation of noise pollution rules.
A bench of justices V M Kanade and Reveti Mohite Dere asked the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to send its team every two years to the festival venue at Kala Ghoda in South Mumbai for collection of garbage.
The HC also instructed the organisers -- Kala Ghoda Residents Association -- to form their own team of housekeeping to ensure proper hygiene at the festival venue.
The bench also warned the organisers to ensure that the noise pollution rules were not violated by the participants.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by the residents of the area opposing the festival, alleging that they faced problems of hygiene, garbage collection and traffic issues due to overcrowding in the fair which goes on for nine days at a stretch including two weekends.
The organisers argued that the festival was held to promote arts and it was difficult to attract people without including commercial stalls.
The court opined that the festival should not be banned, but steps be taken to ensure that rules are not violated and people are not put into any inconvenience. The bench, however, said it was not in favour of changing the festival's venue and instead suggested steps to maintain hygiene.
Last time, the court had told the organisers and petitioners to hold a joint meeting and try to resolve the problem amicably. However, the meeting did not bear fruit and both the sides told the court to give an order since they could not reconcile their differences.
The Kala Ghoda fair, described by the High Court as a 'cultural festival in a culturally starved city', is being held annually since last 16 years and draws large crowd every day from February 7 to 15.