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Ganpati mandals blame potholes for immersion delays

The Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvaya Samiti claims that the civic body’s shoddy work of repairing potholes has delayed immersions on the fifth day of the Ganpati festival

The pockmarked roads in the city have become a serious point of contention between the Ganpati mandals and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). While the civic body claims to have completed nearly 80 per cent of the repair work, the mandal association says that the shoddy work of the BMC has delayed their immersions on the fifth day of the festival.

Even as repair work continues, potholes can be seen in areas like Chembur, Andheri and Jogeshwari. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Even as repair work continues, potholes can be seen in areas like Chembur, Andheri and Jogeshwari. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

As rainfall lashed the city for the fourth consecutive day, the BMC Roads department’s work has, now, also come to a standstill.

On the fifth day of the Ganpati festival, Mumbaikars carried idols of Lord Ganesha for immersion across the city. Pic/Bipin Kokate
On the fifth day of the Ganpati festival, Mumbaikars carried idols of Lord Ganesha for immersion across the city. Pic/Bipin Kokate

The Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvaya Samiti (BSGSS) had submitted a list of potholes to the civic body in the beginning of August at a meeting between the ward officers and BMC’s road department. Around 1,255 potholes in areas like Chinchpokli, Fort, Lalbaug, Parel, Andheri and Malad had to be repaired. However, with continuous rainfall in the city, the work has become quite difficult.

The association is worried that the Traffic and police department would instead blame them for delaying Ganpati immersions, which affects the normal traffic, and law and order on the roads. On their part, mandals can take very few precautions while travelling on these potholed-roads. To ensure the idol remains intact, it should ideally be made out of high quality Plaster of Paris, and tall idols should be constructed with iron rods so that it doesn’t break easily.

“We have informed the BMC enough number of times about potholes, and even then, the fifth day of immersion was a bumpy ride. We don’t understand why are they doing work that is easily washed away by rains. If they cannot fill potholes on time, then they should be held responsible for the delays in the procession. The Traffic and police officials should not blame us,” said Naresh Dahibavkar, president of BSGSS.

“The continuous rainfall has not given us a long enough dry spell to complete the work. But, we are working on priority to fill the potholes reported on the website,” said S V R Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner and Roads department in-charge.

Number of immersions

On September 2
Household – 73,265
Sarvajanik – 1,791

Expected on September 8
Household – 30,307
Sarvajanik – 3,867

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