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Mumbaiites say Ganesh pandals encroach on footpaths, they have no space to walk

Citizens said Mumbai civic body has failed to take action against the encroachers who are violating the Bombay high court’s directives

mumbai Updated: Aug 25, 2017 01:10 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times
Ganesh Chaturthi 2017,Ganpati decoration,Ganpati
A mandal encroaching upon the street at Prabhadevi Chowk.(HT)

With nearly 43% of Ganesh pandals yet to get the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) nod, it is likely that the pandal across your street is unauthorised.

This has angered activists and citizens, who said that despite repeated complaints to the civic body and the police, mandals have encroached upon their footpaths.

Citizens said the civic body has failed to take action against the encroachers who are violating the Bombay high court’s directives, which mandate that pandals keep footpaths and roads free for pedestrians and vehicles.

“Once the BMC permits a mandal to be set up, officials have no idea what sort of construction actually takes place as they do not have the mechanisms to check. The procedure to obtain permission is so slow, most organisers construct mandals beforehand. Their violations go unchecked,” said Kurla activist Jitendra Gupta.

He called BMC to complain against a pandal near his house on Belgami Road, which has encroached upon the road.

Of the 2,085 applications the BMC got, it was yet to give permissions to 911 as of Thursday. It rejected 239 applications and gave its nod to 935.

“I receive complaints from citizens who want me to intervene and take up their case with the BMC. However, officials do not want to demolish any pandals. What can be done then?” asked activist Sheetal Pednekar, who heads NGO Fab RTI.

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 01:09 IST