Mumbai: Every year, on average, 3,000 Ganeshotsav mandals seek permission from the BMC to erect pandals in public places in the city. This year, 2,284 have been permitted to erect pandals. The applications of 491 others were rejected.
Mandals that celebrate the festival within building premises or in private halls don't need to seek permission from the BMC.
However, every year it is observed that pandals are also erected on streets and footpaths with permission. So, the BMC has set up toll-free numbers where citizens can complain about such pandals as well as illegal banners.
The BMC recently issued a booklet with guidelines for pandals. According to the guidelines, if a mandal is seeking permission for the first time, it needs clearance from the traffic police, local police station and the deputy municipal commissioner of the relevant zone.
This year, the corporation has also restricted mandals from erecting structures more than 30 feet in height and sought structural stability certificates from those that are 25 feet or higher.
Pandals on footpaths should leave enough space for pedestrians to walk while those near railway station, bus stops and autorickshaw and taxi stands should allow sufficient space for smooth movement of vehicles. The pandals should also meet all the conditions set by the fire brigade.
This year, the BMC has barred mandals from making holes in roads and pavements and warned that they will be charged Rs 2,000 per pothole for filling up such holes.
Many mandals also violate the prescribed sound level. The Mumbai police have appointed nodal officers in each ward to tackle such complaints. Their numbers on its website.
Ramakant Biradar, deputy municipal commissioner, zone II, and coordinator for the festival, said, "The state government has appointed a team to monitor illegal pandals in Mumbai. The team includes officials from the revenue department and some from the tehsil offices."
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