Mumbai civic body cracks down on Ganpati pandals flouting rules

BMC will demolish pandals erected without permission and those encroaching upon roads and footpaths; Civic body to also process 6% of pending pandal applications

mumbai Updated: Sep 09, 2018 00:35 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,BMC,ganpati
Even the Lord had to find his way through traffic at Mahim in Mumbai on Saturday. (SHASHI S KASHYAP/HT PHOTO)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which stopped accepting new applications for Ganpati pandals from September 5, has started inspecting each ward for pandals flouting norms. As per BMC guidelines, the pandals should be at least 10 feet away from a building, pandals cannot be erected near a railway line, chimney or furnace unless a distance of 15 metres is maintained, and internal roads shall be kept free from any obstruction, among others. The inspection, which began on Friday, will continue till September 13.

In addition to the inspection, the civic body will also demolish pandals that were erected without permission and have encroached the roads and footpath. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta had directed officials to complete the process in time and take stern action against the pandals flouting norms, in his monthly meeting last Saturday.

“The civic body has assured us that in the inspection they will also check the condition of roads and check for potholes,” said Naresh Dahibhavkar, president of Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, an umbrella body of organisers. The civic body will now process 6% of applications yet to be processed, while it will not accept new applications.

The deadline for granting permission to the organisers ended last month, which BMC had later extended till September 5. A total of 3,523 applications were submitted online to BMC for setting up pandals on roads and footpath for the 10-day festival, which will begin on September 13.

Out of these, the civic body has cancelled 773 applications following duplication. Out of the remaining 2,750 applications, according to data provided by BMC, it has cleared 2,290 applications while rejecting 290.

A total of 170 applications are pending with traffic police, local police stations and BMC. From this year, the civic body introduced a single-window online system for applications. After submission of the application, it is forwarded to ward offices, traffic and police departments to be approved within three days.

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 00:35 IST