Bappa on his way, but mandals still await nod
Ganesh Chaturthi, only 1,005 of the 2,620 Ganesh mandals that applied for permissions online have got the nod. While 189 applications were rejected owing to lack of documents, the remaining applications are still being processed. This year, the system was marred by technical glitches, which even forced the deadline for application to be extended to August 24 from August 19.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started accepting applications for the 10-day festival, which begins on September 2, from June. Once a Ganesh mandal applies online, the ward forwards the application to various departments including police, traffic and fire brigade. Following no-objection certificates (NOCs) from all departments concerned, the ward office issues permission to the mandals to set up pandals. As the city has more than 11,000 mandals, the BMC came up with an online system two years ago, but the technical issues delayed the process this year.
Naresh Dahibhavkar, president, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, umbrella body of Ganesh mandals in the city, said, “There were technical issues in issuing permissions initially, which have been resolved now. Getting a no-objection certificate from the police department takes most time, as they need to conduct site inspection.”
Swapnil Parab, president for Ganesh Galli mandal, one of the city’s oldest mandals, said, “Initially there was a problem as many forms could not be uploaded. When we asked BMC officers about it, they had no answers. They’ve also increased the documentation process which adds to the delay. Earlier, we were asked to send in only area and measurements, now they’re asking for designs and drawings too.”
A press release issued by the BMC on Friday stated that after demands for more time, the mayor wrote to the administration to extend the deadline to apply for permissions.
Meanwhile, the BMC’s G/North ward in Mahim and Dadar has allowed mandals to carry idols through the Metro barricades, to reduce traffic congestion on the Gokhale road at Dadar.
Deputy municipal commissioner Narendra Barde was not available for a comment despite repeated attempts.
Cidco has said it will repair the pothole-riddled roads of Kharghar before Ganesh Chaturthi. It will spend Rs 42 crore for the same. Ramesh Giri, executive engineer, Cidco, Kharghar, said the work will start in a week.
“We just expect a smooth ride when we bring Bappa home. Not a single road in Kharghar is motorable,” said Rohit Das, 46, a sector 12 resident.