Just 15 days ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, the BMC has received 1,228 applications from areas within its jurisdiction to erect pandals and set up stages on roads and footpaths for the 11-day festival, slated to be held from September 10. Of these, only 304 mandals have received permission. As many as 757 mandals are awaiting permission, while the application by 86 mandals has been rejected.
Most applications were rejected as the pandals did not comply with the rules.
While some did not submit the self-certification, others were found causing hindrances to traffic or encroaching footpaths and roads.
According to civic officials, 11,000 idols from various mandals are immersed in the city, but only 15 per cent take permission every year.
As per guidelines, the pandals should be at least 10-feet away from a building and they cannot be erected near a railway line, chimney or furnace unless a distance of 15-metres is maintained.
Also, internal roads must be kept free from any obstruction. The guidelines also state that mandals need to submit a self-certified declaration on a Rs 500 stamp paper about the compliance of fire safety measures to the ward authority, and it would be the sole responsibility of organisers to comply with all fire safety measures under Section 3 (3) of Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006.
In 2019, the BMC granted permission to 2,376 mandals, these numbers dropped to 1764 in 2020, due to the pandemic.
During pre-Covid years, some mandals installed 20 to 25 feet-high idols. However, the state and BMC have capped the heights of the idols and also imposed restrictions under Covid-19 safety norms.
A list of guidelines for the festival was issued by the state government in June, this year.
As per the directives, the mandals have to restrict the height of Ganpati idols to four feet, while idols worshipped at homes should not be more than two-foot high.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)