Lalbaugcha Raja fined Rs 38 lakh for potholes

Mumbai : In a peculiar case, Mumbai’s most popular Ganesh mandal, Lalbaugcha Raja, has been flouting civic norms since 2012 and has even managed to evade paying a fine for it. The BMC on Monday asked the mandal to pay Rs 38.13 lakh as fine for leaving behind potholes on the roads after its pandal had been pulled down. Of this amount, the BMC has imposed a fine of Rs 3.36 lakh on the mandal this year for not repairing 168 potholes it created while erecting its pandal.

The total amount of Rs 38.13 lakh mainly comes from pending dues since 2012, when the civic body fined the Lalbaugcha Raja mandal Rs 23.5 lakh and it failed to pay up the amount. This fine was imposed for leaving behind potholes as well as disfiguring the roads with holes from metal rods and barricades put up to facilitate formation of queues for the devotees.

The civic body fined the mandal Rs 5.60 lakh in 2013 and added the amount to pending dues of the previous year. However, Lalbaugcha Raja mandal flouted civic norms again in 2014 and the BMC slapped a fine of Rs 5.61 lakh.

As per BMC’s policy, all mandals are supposed to repair potholes and pay a fine of Rs 2000 per pothole if they

fail to fill them up. Before the Ganesh festival began, Additional Municipal Commissioner SVR Srinivas, who is in charge of the city’s roads had explained that it is time consuming for the civic body to find all potholes and fill them up, as pandals are propped up on every other street in the city. If the pandals take up the responsibility themselves, the work will progress quickly.

In 2012, the BMC came up with the policy of fining Ganesh Mandals which do not repair potholes created by their pandals, after it found the pothole menace impossible to contain.

2 lady cops suspended for assaulting woman

Mumbai : Two lady constables have been suspended for assaulting a woman devotee at the Lalbaugcha Raja pandal. The action comes a day after Police Commissioner Javed Ahmad took note of the incident and ordered an inquiry. The constables have been identified as Varsha Patil and Anuradha Salunkhe who were attached to the Local Arms – Third division.

“It has come to our notice that the two lady constables assaulted the complainant. While a detailed investigation is being conducted, the two have been suspended pending inquiry, “said Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order).

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