After the Bombay high court last year ordered that Ganpati pandals constructed on roads should not affect traffic, the authorities are taking extra precautions while granting permissions for construction of such structures.
As per Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) report, on August 20, total 771 applications were received, of which 89 mandals had been denied permission and 20 given a thumbs up. While 590 applications are pending with police alone, 72 are awaiting approval from various ward offices, getting the total figure of pending applications to 662, which is 85% of the total complaints. Majority of pending applications (61) are in K-west ward (Andheri, Jogeshwari, Vile Parle west areas). According to the report, 76% of the total applications are also awaiting No Objection Certificates (NOC) from the police.
With the new festival policy in place, the civic officials were to grant permissions only on receiving NOCs from the police, traffic and fire departments. “The mandals have been denied permission owing to various reasons such as, denied NOC by the police or traffic department, a new mandal applies for permissions, if the required documents are not in place, among others,” said a civic official.
Also, sources said there are over 11,000 idols will be immersed by city’s various mandals but the applications for the pandals received are not even 10% of that. However, the coordination committee members are hopeful that the applications will be cleared in time this year. Girish Walawalkar, secretary of Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, said, “In a meeting with the chief minister on Monday we have been assured that the permissions will not be delayed and within 10 days the pending applications will be cleared.”
Anand Waghralkar, deputy municipal commissioner, said, “The applications that are pending were received recently and after receiving police NOC, the concerned ward office will immediately grant permissions.”