The Lalbaugcharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal fetched Rs1.15 crore in the three-day auction of the gold and silver offerings made by devotees that ended on Thursday night. Last year, after auctioning the gold and silver offerings, the mandal collected Rs90 lakh, said members.
Apart from the gold and silver, four motorbikes were also sold at the auction. “Two Hero Splendour bikes were sold for Rs69,000 and Rs75,000, respectively, while the other two Scooty bikes were bought for Rs64,000 and Rs75,000, respectively,” said Mahesh Jadhav, treasurer of the mandal, adding, “All the four motorbikes were sold at their market prices.”
The motorbikes have no number plates and were donated without being registered, said Jadhav. “The bikes have no legal papers. But the mandal will speak to the donors to assure the buyers that the process will be done at the earliest,” he said, adding that the mandal will pay for the registration and other miscellaneous expenses to register the bikes.
Donations to the Lalbaugcharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, which includes cash, gold and silver offerings, crossed the Rs7.5-crore mark this year. The mandal received cash donations that amounted to more than Rs6.5 crore during the 10-day festival.
On the last day of the festival, the mandal announces the dates and list of items to be auctioned to the devotees. “The auction is done in the pandal itself in the presence of around 250 people a day. Few devotees turned up on the second day owing to unexpected rainfall,” said Bala Kamble, president of the mandal, adding that members of the trust do not participate in the auction.
The highest collections were made in 2012, where the mandal collected Rs13.5 crore, which included Rs8 crore donated in cash, said members of the mandal.
According to the mandal members:
- 1.16 kg gold replicas of the idol’s feet were sold for Rs34.21 lakh
- 100gm gold chain was sold for Rs3.40 lakh
- 122gm gold necklace was sold for Rs3.30 lakh