Free Press Journal

Mumbai Ganesh Chaturthi 2018: Shiv Sena leaders meet BMC chief with demands, issue with pandal rules


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Mumbai: Shiv Sena legislators, accompanied by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) corporators from their party, met civic commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Monday with three main demands. The meeting was held mid-afternoon at the BMC headquarters on Monday.

Sena legislator Anil Parab, speaking to the media, alleged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trying to create hurdles in the implementation of the Sena’s poll promises. Parab said his party had promised to provide tax exemption to the citizens of Mumbai with houses with a carpet area of up to 700 square feet. Though Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier said he was keen to give the benefits, so far no development had taken place.

“The tax exemption file is pending with the urban development department, which is headed by the CM himself. It seems they (BJP) have some ploy against Sena,” added Parab.

The Sena also asked the civic commissioner to provide some leeway to Ganesh mandals to set up pandals, as the festival is just a month away and there is very little time for preparations. Further, they also raised the pending issue of the assurance of increment made by Mehta to civic health workers. The earlier promise was to increase the salary of health workers by Rs 5,000 — from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 — but so far, no decision has been taken in this regard. The Sena delegates delivered an ultimatum to the civic chief to fulfil the long-pending demand before Diwali.

The meeting was held by Sena leaders, following an uproar among the Ganesh mandal organisers across the city against the BMC’s stringent laws to be adhered to before setting up pandals. Organisers consider the laws formulated by the civic body tedious. The BMC has mandated the mandal organiser obtain prior approvals from the fire department and traffic police before setting up pandals. Since the procedure is time-consuming, several organisers have already started setting up pandals without the proper nods in place, much to the chagrin of the civic body.

BMC guidelines for pandals

Obtain permission from the fire brigade and Mumbai traffic online at: web-portal

While raising pandals, organisers must keep 10 feet of space free to enable ambulances and fire trucks gain access in an emergency

Fire-fighting equipment must be in place.

A map of the pandal, with entry and exit points clearly marked, must be displayed to avoid any untoward situation

After the 11-day festival is concluded, organisers must fill potholes caused on roads where the pandals were erected. Then photographs corroborating the repair of those roads must be sent to their respective ward offices; failure to do so will result in penalties being levied for creating potholes.