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Denied BMC nod, yet many pandals come up

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Mumbai: Even though the BMC has denied permission to almost 300 mandals in the city, some Ganesh mandals have started erecting pandals nonetheless. Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was to intervene in the matter at a meeting on Monday with the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS), the umbrella body of all the city mandals. However, the meeting was called off. “We did not receive any call. As a result, mandals will continue with the festival as they have made all the preparations. It has been celebrated even before Independence. The mandals should just ensure they follow all the guidelines issued,” said Naresh Dahibavkar, president, BSGSS.

As many as 10 mandals were denied permission by the civic body. But the mandals claimed it was due to a fault in the BMC’s own website. The civic body has asked those mandals, who have been denied permission, to stop work on their pandals. “The BMC has denied us permission to erect pandals, ignoring the fact that the dispute was created due to technical problems in its own online system. The deadline for resubmitting the forms has also expired. In such a scenario, we have been left with no other option but to erect pandals without permission,” said Kirti Raja, treasurer of a Dahisar mandal.

According to civic data, of the 3,523 applications received from city mandals, 773 were cancelled owing to duplication. Of the 2,750 applications processed, permission was granted to 2,290 mandals whereas 290 were denied permission. Applications of 170 mandals are still in process.