There is a sharp rise in the number of Ganesh mandals seeking permission to set up pandals from the previous year. However, when compared to 2019, before the Covid outbreak, there is a drop in Ganesh mandals approaching the civic body for permission.
As per the number provided by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), it has, so far, granted permission to 164 mandals, which is higher than 2021.
Back then, only 112 mandals were given permission considering COVID constraints. However, in 2019, when there were no such restrictions, the civic body granted permissions to 192 mandals. It means there was around a 14.5 percent drop in 2022 from 2019. The rising cost and multi-layered permission process are said to be the main reasons for a lesser number of mandals approaching the civic body.
Vijay Walunj, a former corporator who also holds Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal in Vashi, said that the rising cost of materials and poor market conditions have forced many mandals to celebrate the festival in low-key manner.
“The cost of holding a 10-day festival has tripled from preCovid periods. Small mandals are facing a huge funds crunch and this might have forced them to hold the puja with minimum decoration and small mandap,” he said.
Seeking multiple permissions from different agencies is another area that needs to be looked after, he added. The maximum number of applications, 30, were received from the Koparkhairane ward followed by 24 from the Belapur ward.
For an eco-friendly Ganpati immersion, the NMMC will create 134 artificial ponds for immersion of idols made of plaster of paris and households Ganpatis. The maximum number of artificial ponds, 25, will be created in the Belapur ward followed by 20 in Turbhe and 18 in Airoli.
In addition, there are 22 natural ponds where immersion will be allowed. In 2021, 14,090 out of a total of 27,808 idols were immersed in the artificial ponds.