Mumbai: Govt steps in to handle crowds at Lalbaugcha Raja
Lalbaugcha Raja mandal authorities will also have to disclose the amount of donations they receive during the festival
After conducting an enquiry into the manhandling of a senior cop by volunteers at the Lalbaugcha Raja and further altercations between the two sides, the charity commissioner's office has formed a three-member committee, which would look into the functioning of the mandal and take decisions regarding management of the queues for darshan. Not just this, the mandal authorities will also have to disclose the amount of donations they receive during the festival.
According to sources, a number of complaints were registered regarding the functioning of the mandal with the charity commissioner's office over the past couple of months, but the authorities concerned did not take any step. However, commissioner Shivkumar Dige took the decision after visiting the mandal last month and conducting an enquiry in the matter.
Sources further said the enquiry mainly focused on crowd management, what the mandal did to avoid untoward incidents and whether overcrowding happened due to lack of planning. In view of the decision taken by Dige, a representative each from the commissioner's office, police and mandal would look into the entry and exit plans from next year. This will include managing the navsachi line (one that takes devotees to the feet of the idol) and mukhdarshan line (one that allows devotees to catch a glimpse of the idol from a distance), apart from ensuring the security and safety of worshippers. Further, the representative from the commissioner's office will also be present when the donation boxes are opened up for the public.
Speaking to mid-day, Dige said, "I passed the order on Friday. Representatives from my office, police and mandal will ensure that there is no manhandling and overcrowding during the festival."
Even after repeated attempts to contact Sudhir Salvi, secretary of the mandal and Balasaheb Kamble, chairman of the mandal, they remained unavailable for comments.
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