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High Court nod for use of venue for Pune Festival

Staff Correspondent

Pune: Organisers and veteran artistes heaved a sigh of relief on Monday, with the Bombay High Court granting permission to use the Ganesh Kala Krida Manch for the Pune Festival, the city's annual cultural event.

Organisers were banned from using the 2,500-seat auditorium last year, after the Club of Maharashtra filed a petition against the Pune Municipal Corporation in the High Court stating that the venue should not be used for activities other than sports.

Last week, citizens, including actors Mohan Agashe, Nana Patekar, Jabbar Patel and Shriram Lagu, submitted a letter to Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Zagade reiterating the demand for the use of the venue.

In a press release, chief organiser of the festival Krishnakant Kudale welcomed the High Court's decision. “This will contribute to keeping cultural values in Pune intact,” he said in the release.

The festival will be inaugurated on September 17. Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah will be the chief guest.

Award

During the inaugural function, the Pune Festival Award will be presented to classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar, industrialist Cyrus Poonawala (for the development of the A(H1N1) influenza vaccine) and industrialist Padmashri Anu Aga. Dancer and actor Hema Malini, who is a patron of the festival, is scheduled to perform a ballet ‘Nritya Surabhi' on September 18. Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma will perform on September 19, while Kishori Amonkar will perform on September 20.

A host of other activities, plays and competitions have also been arranged as part of the festival.

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