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Bombay High Court raps Maharashtra civic bodies for failing to act against illegal Ganesh pandals


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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with municipal corporations in Maharashtra for failing to take action against illegal pandals erected during Ganesh festival this year.

The HC also sought the names of the civic officials who had failed to perform their duties in this regard, so that they can be issued notice asking why contempt of court action should not be initiated against them.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and M S Sonak said civic bodies, for two years, have not been implementing orders passed by the court directing strict action against illegal pandals.

“Despite our orders, this year too the number of illegal pandals (during Ganesh festival) is high,” Justice Oka said.

According to affidavits filed by Thane Municipal Corporation on Monday, the number of illegal pandals this year there was 46. In Bhiwandi, the number was 113 while in Ulhasnagar, the number of such pandals stood at 37.

“These pandals did not display the permission granted to them and, despite being aware that they were erected illegally, officials of the civic bodies concerned did nothing and let the pandals stand,” Justice Oka said.

The court sought the names of the civic officials who failed to take action against the illegal pandals.

“We will issue notice to all the officers as to why contempt action should not taken against them. This will teach them a lesson,” Justice Oka said.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking strict implementation of noise pollution rules.

It had, in the past, issued orders directing the government and civic bodies to take strict action against illegal pandals erected on public roads and streets, and thus disrupting traffic. The bench has posted the matter for further hearing on September 26.

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