Rising inflation has not spared even the Gods, with mandals across the city hiking their budgets this year for Ganeshotsav.
The reason — costs of all items right from idols, decoration material as well as labour charges have increased manifold.
This has forced mandals to hike their budgets.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Naresh Dahibavkar, president, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsava Samanvay Samitee, said rising costs are a huge burden on organisers.
“Costs have increased steeply and donors too have not been that generous this time,” said Dahibavkar. “I fear many mandals would be forced to cash in their fixed deposits to tide over this situation,” he added.
Compared to previous years, all expenses have risen exponentially this time. It can be gauged from the fact that the cost of an 8-foot idol has risen to Rs9,000 from Rs8,000 last year. Even the labour force has hiked its daily wage to Rs400 from Rs300.
The Goud Saraswat Brahman (GSB) Ganeshotsava Mandal, one of the biggest in the city, has targeted a collection of Rs5 crore this year, up from Rs4.5 crore last year. “We always have three-year contracts with our suppliers which shields us from rising costs,” said Satish Nayak, a senior trustee.
“But, in some areas we are helpless,” he added.
Similarly, the famed Ganesh Gulli mandal at Lalbaug has now kept its collection target at Rs50 lakh from Rs35 lakh last year.
The Bhoiwada based Sadakant Dhavan Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal has now decided to cut its decoration amount to Rs75,000 from Rs1.25 spent last year.
“Prices have gone up by around 40%, hence this move,” said Vilas Rane, a trustee at the mandal.
He, however, said despite this the budget would rise to Rs6 lakh from Rs4.50 lakh it spent last year.
Idol maker Ramesh Rawle justifies the hike in idol costs. “The raw materials as well as the labour costs have increased substantially hence we increased prices,” Rawle said.