There are about 10,000 ganesh mandals in the city and suburbs. BMC collects Rs 2,000 from each mandal as a security deposit and permits the organisers to dig up parts of roads and pavements to erect their pandals. After the 11-day festival, the pandals are brought down but the potholes remain, inconveniencing motorists.
And this year, in order to ensure roads are better maintained, BMC has decided that if organisers don’t fill up the pits that they have dug up, then they would lose their deposit. Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner, said, “BMC will forfeit the deposit amount from mandal organisers who fail to plug the potholes. The seized amount will be used to repair the roads after the festival.”
However, everyone’s not pleased with BMC’s decision. The Sarvajanik Ganeshostav Coordination Committee, an umbrella body of all Ganesh mandals, expressed disappointment on hearing of the decision. It’s president Naresh Dahibawkar said, “Ganesh mandals need to be held responsible for ensuring that public property is not damaged. If the mandals are found spoiling the roads or footpaths, they should pay for it.”
TMC takes a tough stand
While BMC has ordered that mandals who don’t plug the potholes will have to forfeit the security deposit, Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has issued notices to 10-12 Ganesh mandals and has also decided to impose a Rs 500 fine for every hole dug up on the roads.