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Bombay HC questions civic bodies on illegal pandals, including 349 in Mumbai, during festive season

A division bench of Bombay HC was hearing the survey reports submitted by officials of different districts, stating there were 349 illegal pandals in Mumbai and suburbs.

mumbai Updated: Sep 13, 2018 11:44 IST
KAY Dodhiya
KAY Dodhiya
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
mumbai,bombay HC,ganeshotsav pandals
Devotees carry a Ganesha idol of from a studio to their place of worship for the Ganesha Chaturthi festival at Dadar in Mumbai, Wednesday, September 12, 2018. (Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

The Bombay high court (HC) has asked officers of 12 municipal corporations of the state to explain why a large number of illegal pandals have been permitted to be put up during the festive season, despite numerous court orders restricting it.

A division bench of justice Abhay Oka and MS Sonak was hearing the survey reports submitted by officials of different districts, stating there were 349 illegal pandals in Mumbai and suburbs. The survey was undertaken after the Bombay high court directed the state to ensure there were no violations of its orders passed in 2016 that asked the authorities to prevent the building of such pandals.

The report of the city and suburbs showed that of the 222 pandals surveyed in the island city, none of them was unauthorised. However, of the 325 pandals surveyed in Mumbai suburbs, 217 were either illegal or violating norms; in Malad 45 of the 48 pandals were illegal or flouting rules, followed by Borivli (41 of 77) and Andheri (36 of 77). In the eastern suburbs, Bhandup led the list with 55 of the 66 pandals in violation of rules or illegal.

Across the state, Pune had the maximum number of pandals (671) with violations or built illegally, followed by Kolhapur with 498 pandals and 152 violators.

“It is surprising that despite our orders passed two years ago there are such a large number of pandals that are in violation,” said justice Oka.

While addressing the counsel for the BMC, he said the court had been clear about the repercussions in the previous hearings and if the officers could not justify the high number of violating pandals they would face the music. The bench then asked the BMC counsel as well as asked the counsels of other corporations to respond to the findings of the report and placed the matter for hearing on Friday.

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 11:43 IST