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Maharashtra state government steps up to support Sunburn festival
24 December, 2016

Maharashtra state government steps up to support Sunburn festival

Amidst several protests against the Sunburn music festival by local villagers and some right wing organisations, the state government has come forward and announced nonfinancial support to Asia’s largest music festival. With the state stepping up, it would appear that all hurdles for the festival have been cleared and all necessary permissions will be given in the next few days.

After organising the festival in Goa for the last nine years, the organisers have, for the first time, shifted it to Pune this year. The event is scheduled to take place between December 28 and 31 in a rural part of Pune near Wagholi. However, some local villagers opposed the festival and moved court, citing the possibility of sound pollution and environmental hazards. Some right wing organisations also objected, claiming that the festival is harmful to Indian culture.However on Friday, the state government took a stand in favour of the festival. State tourism minister Jaykumar Rawal said that the state has given non-financial support to the festival to promote tourism in the state. Said Rawal, “We want to develop a Pune-Lonavala-Mumbai corridor for organising festivals in order to promote tourism. Therefore, we have decided to extend non-financial support to Sunburn. The state government will not give any funds to the festival nor take any deposit from the organisers.”

Rawal stated that the festival will help the state to attract foreign tourists. “We are holding meetings with taxi and hotel associations to make arrangement for visitors. Sunburn will see a lot of foreign tourists visiting Pune and it will automatically promote business for hoteliers and taxi drivers and owners. We want Maharashtra to be a tourism destination and we want to promote it through entertainment and other means,” Rawal added.

When Sunburn was held in Goa, tourists from nearly 50 countries visited to attend the festival. In Pune, too, the organisers claimed that they have got 50 acres of land for the festival at which more than 120 artistes are likely to participate. There will be foreign artistes from 25 countries travelling down to Pune for the event.

When asked about protests, Rawal said, “The festival will be held within all limits of the law. We will give permission only to what is legal. The use of narcotics is obviously illegal and we will be giving strict instructions to the organisers to make sure that the use of narcotics is avoided. If any illegalities are found during the festival, action will be taken against the persons concerned.”

Sunburn will see a lot of foreign tourists visiting Pune and it will automatically promote business for hoteliers and taxi drivers and owners.
— Jaykumar Rawal, tourism minister, Maharashtra