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Mandals to go ahead with celebrations at own risk

Thursday, September 13, 2018
By Raju Vernekar

With nearly 150 Sarvajanik Mandals yet to get permission to set up pandal from the BMC, the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS) has advised them to take all precautions, including adherence to traffic norms, provision for an ambulance and fire fighting equipment, and go ahead with installation of idols, pending permission from the BMC.

The issue was also hotly debated in BMC’s standing committee meeting on Tuesday, in which corporators pointed out to the administration, that the confusion about the permission arose mainly due to the BMC's insistence on submission of application forms “online”.

Besides, if police go ahead with strict implementation of rules and try to take action against the organisers, then they will be responsible for law and order situation.

A delegation of the BSGSS, led by its Secretary, Suresh Sarnobat, which called on Municipal Commissioner, Ajoy Mehta, on Wednesday, requested him to advise ward offices to accept applications offline, even if they were brought at the eleventh hour. In the meeting, the BSGSS also pointed out that many roads in the city were full of potholes and they should be repaired before Ganesh immersion.

BSGSS has asked Mandals to perform a pooja by 12.30 (noon) and 9 PM daily and not delay it. The mandals have also been advised to display portraits of Lokmanya Tilak and Chhatrapati Shivaji and also display a saffron flag of  'Varkari Sampraday' in the pandal.

The BSGSS has asked mandals to treat senior citizens with dignity and welcome people of all communities and religion, for a darshan of Lord Ganesha.

In Mumbai idols have been installed by nearly 11,000 Sarvajanik Ganesh mandals, while the number of idols to be installed by households is expected to be around two lakh, taking into consideration the 2-day, 5-day, 7-day and 10-day celebrations. BMC has deployed nearly 9,000 employees to look after festival related activities including immersion at 100 odd spots.

This year, in Mumbai several mandals in Mumbai have hit the mark in terms of their existence. The Brahmansabha Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal of Girgaon in South Mumbai has entered 101 years, the “Mumbaicha Raja” of Ganesh Galli, Lalbaug has entered the 90th year, while the GSB Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal of Wadala, considered the richest is celebrating 64 years.

In yet another development, Professional Audio and Lighting Association (PALA) has filed a petition ( Civil Appeal No.24678/2017) in the Bombay High Court demanding that it should be allowed to run Dolby digital sound system up to permissible limit of 25 decibels and police should not harass operators since the Dolby digital sound system has not been banned under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control Rules)2000. The petition is slated to come up for hearing before a division bench comprising Justices SS Kemkar and MS Karnik on Friday.

Speaking to The Afternoon D&C, PALA Secretary, Zura Braganza, said that although there is  no clarity about norms, in places like Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, the police have been visiting godowns of  the operators and seizing the sound system without any authority.

This move has badly affected system operators, manufacturers and all those concerned and if the same trend continues, the day is not far when sound system will not be available even for marriage ceremonies, he added.

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