Court allows music system at Varanasi ghat for Modi-Abe visit


The Allahabad High Court today granted permission for installation of music system at Dashashwamedh Ghat in Varanasi where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, is scheduled to attend the “Ganga Arti” on Saturday.

A specially-constituted bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Dilip Gupta ruled that the Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) could go ahead with erecting a pole at the Ghat for installation of the music system.

But it emphasised that care must be taken that the music should not be louder than permissible limits and that it should not be played earlier than 6 A.M. and beyond 10 P.M. as that might inconvenience those residing in the vicinity.

The order came on a special application filed yesterday by the Uttar Pradesh Government through the Chief Standing Counsel (CSC), Ramesh Upadhyay.

The CSC had submitted that while hearing a matter relating to cleaning the river Ganges, the court had ruled that there must be no fresh constructions within a distance of 200 metres from the banks of the river in Varanasi.

The CSC had also submitted that in a bid to give fillip to tourism in the ancient temple town, the VDA proposed erecting similar poles and music systems at Sheetala Ghat and Rajendra Prasad Ghat for which separate application would be filed later.

On a query from the court, the CSC also submitted that the VDA had “already made necessary preparations” and the pole would be erected in time though only two days are left for the visit of the two Prime Ministers.