The number of Ganesh mandals in the city this year, as compared to the last, has sprouted fears in the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvaya Samiti (BSGSS) that the number of Nirmalya vans (floral waste collection vans) provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will not be sufficient for the volume of flowers expected be offered by devotees.
Last year there were10,300 mandals across the city, but this year that number has risen to 10,500. The Ganeshotsav mandal and coordination committee fear that though the BMC has been collecting Nirmalya with 24 vans last year, the belief is that at least 100 such vehicles are required to keep up with the changing times.
A vast majority of the mandals are situated in and around wards like C (Kalbadevi), D (Girgaon), F-south (Lalbaug, Parel) and G-north (Dadar west) and hence, need more than 20 Nirmalya vans alone. Last year, only one Nirmalya van was allotted to each of the wards.
The floral waste collected every year during the 10-day Ganesh festival across the city is 1,500 tonnes per day, excluding plastic waste, which is also collected at the same time. With over 150 mandals in ‘C ward’ alone, it becomes difficult to collect the Nirmalya from all over, and some mandals are left out.
More vans needed
President of the Samiti, Naresh Dahibavkar, said, “There is surely a need of more Nirmalya vans from the corporation. With 10,500 mandals in the city, it is not feasible to manage with only 24 vans. We have demanded for more Nirmalya vans so that the emotions of the devotees are not hurt.”
Kishor Kshirsagar, deputy municipal commissioner (Zone II), said that there is no need for additional vans. “We have been allotting one Nirmalya van to every ward in the city. The vans collect the Nirmalya and deposit it at an allotted site in each respective ward and again repeat the process. Pick-ups and drops and carried out the whole day, which should be sufficient to cover all the mandals,” Kshirsagar said.
The mandals that sees the largest number of devotees is the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganeshotsav Mandal. Members of this mandal also feel that the number of Nirmalya vans should be increased.
Mandal member Sunil Joshi said, “A van comes once every morning to our mandal, but with more than five lakh devotees visiting each day, the Nirmalya Kalash is full every three hours. To avoid the offerings coming under foot and upsetting the sentiments of devotees, the number of vans should be increased.”