On Monday, this paper carried a front page report about the BMC giving Ganpati mandals a week to pay up various amounts as fines for defacing the city’s roads by digging holes to set up mandals. Yet, in the report, it is evident that the civic body is quite toothless as it is yet to collect a whopping Rs 28 lakh from two of the city’s most eminent Ganpati mandals for the holes dug up for the previous Ganeshotsav. This time, the BMC promises to be stricter and speedy about the fine collection and has given the mandals seven days to fill the holes that the festivities have left behind.
The BMC should make it mandatory for mandals to pay a deposit (returnable post the festival) as surety for the state of the roads. The deposits should of course vary according to the size of the mandals but they must be substantial in order to cover possible damages done to the road. These deposits of course are to be returned post the festival. Yet, if the mandals damage the already-pockmarked roads of the city, then, the deposit would be automatically forfeited.
It is best though, if mandals do not give any opportunity to the civic body to levy fines. The festivities should be conducted with care and caution for the infrastructure of this already strained city. In case of damages, mandal authorities must make it a point to repair the damage as soon as possible. Passing off the damage as not theirs and passing the buck is simply unethical. Politicians and businessmen fund most mandals and they do have funds in their kitty. It is ironical that those who seek to serve by calling worshippers to the divine would want to shy away from their responsibility; certainly not the celestial thing to do.