Published On: Sat, Aug 20th, 2016

Ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, idol makers go on day-long strike |DNA

With Ganeshotsav round the corner, Mumbaikars may be in for a tough time if they are yet to place an order for an idol. The makers have decided to go on a day-long strike on Monday to protest against the authority for not fulfilling their demands.

Brihanmumbai Ganesh Murtikar Sang, an association of over 750 idol makers, has decided that all of its members with shut their workshop for a day. According to the association, it has made certain demands from the authority to make the system of getting permission for a workshop easier for them.

President of the association Gajanan Tondwalkar said: “We require a no-objection certificate (NOC) from various departments before installing a mandal for the workshop. We have been demanding a single-window system where we can get all NOCs in one place. The general rules must be out well in advance. We at least need all permissions on June 1 to start making idols for the festival. The authority wants to promote eco-friendly clay ganpati which needs more time to dry. It should give us permission in advance to install the mandal where we can start making the eco-friendly ganpati.”

The association also wants the authority to ban the street mandals that display idols brought from outside the city. According to them, it affects the demand of the idols made in the city.

Tondwalkar said: “Rather than restricting permissions for new artists in the city, the BMC should ban permission given to those who import idols from outside the city to sell. It hurts the local artists.”

The association has idol makers from various areas of the Mumbai. It hopes that the public mandals will support their strike. “This year, the idol makers will shut the workshop for a day. If the authority does not listen to our demand, we will be shutting down the workshops next year too,” said Tondwalkar.

Idol makers’ demands

Permission to install idol-making mandals should be given on or before June 1 every year. As soon as the permission letter is submitted by the idol maker, the BMC should approve it within 15 days.

The BMC should have a single-window system to give various NOCs.

New artists must be given a chance and permission to work.

Hawkers should not be given permanent permission to start their business on the location used by the idol makers since a few years.

Idols from outside the city should not be displayed on the city’s streets.

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