Here is good news for Ganesh mandals that face permission-related, and law and order-related issues, as they will get approvals online from this year. This was announced by the government and police authorities on Thursday evening.
This year's Ganesh festival will start on September 5. File pic
The assurance came after the city BJP took the lead in convincing the authorities at a convention of the apex body of Ganesh festival organisers and idol makers — Maharashtra Ganeshotsav Mahasangh in Mumbai. City BJP president Ashish Shelar also promised Mahasangh that he would take all the issues to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the first week of June.
Charity commissioner Shashikant Salve told the gathering that the organisers would be granted all permissions online. The Mahasangh officials made the government and police officials aware of difficulties they face at the administrative level. This year's Ganesh festival will start from September 5.
Another issue that came up for discussion was directives issued by the Bombay High Court, which has laid down strict norms against creating traffic blocks and violation of noise pollution rules. Last year, the court had fined some pandals and asked them to pay R1 lakh each to the CM's relief fund as a punitive measure.
As per the high court orders, illegal platforms raised during festivals like Ganesh Utsav, Navratri and Dahi Handi, cannot be erected in localities having a large population and heavy traffic, or near public transport stands, hospitals and educational institutions. It wanted pandals to not obstruct traffic and pedestrian movement.
On an average, some 140 idol makers and 1,188 Ganesh pandals approach the Mumbai civic body and other authorities for permission for Ganesh festival. Many seek permission to set up pandals near railway stations, bus stands and hospitals. The organisers felt the need of appealing to the high court for seeking clarity on certain issues that inconvenience them and devotees.