Thane: Concerns over potential accidents stemming from electricity connections drawn from street poles for Ganeshotsav illumination have prompted the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) to issue a directive. TMC Commissioner Abhijit Bangar convened a meeting at the Narendra Ballal Auditorium at TMC headquarters on Tuesday, August 29, to address this issue and provide instructions for safer celebrations during Ganeshotsav.
The meeting saw participation from representatives of Public Ganeshotsav Mandals, TMC Officers, Traffic Police officers, Mahavitaran officials, and Torrent Company representatives.
Bangar emphasised that Ganesh Mandals should refrain from tapping into street pole power for lighting and should instead opt for temporary electric meters to ensure safety.
Apply online for mandap permissions
Under the guidance of TMC's inspection head, the authorities were directed to enable unregistered Ganesh Mandals to apply online for mandap permissions, preferably processing applications on the same day they are received.
To counteract pollution of Thane's lakes caused by idol immersion, the municipality has set up artificial lakes specifically for this purpose. Bangar announced during the meeting that similar artificial lakes would be established within the municipal area this year as well. A key focus was on optimizing the use of materials for these artificial ponds to curtail costs for subsequent years.
The immersion process varies with smaller idols being immersed in artificial ponds and larger ones in creeks. However, a lack of clear guidelines often leads to disputes between Mandals, municipal authorities, and the police. In response, Bangar mandated the placement of boards near each artificial pond indicating the allowable idol size for immersion. He also ordered the deployment of 24-hour security to deter unsupervised swimming by children.
In preparation for Ganesh idol immersion, Bangar directed that all pond-related works should be completed half a day in advance. For safety reasons, the power distribution department was instructed to station a team along the route of Ganesh Murti arrival and immersion, particularly due to elevated power lines.
Furthermore, the TMC chief recommended the deployment of lifeguards near artificial ponds and stressed consistent coordination with Ganeshotsav mandal representatives.
Temporary power connections
Mandals typically secure temporary power connections for Ganeshotsav by paying a deposit to Mahavitaran company. However, disputes have arisen concerning the refunding of these deposits even after three years. The issue is exacerbated by faulty electricity meters, leading to excessive payments. The lack of an effective complaint mechanism exacerbates these matters. Mahavitaran officials defended their position, asserting that the deposit amount is refundable and an online application facility exists.
Representatives from Ganesh Mandals disputed this claim, asserting that their experiences contradict the officials' assertions. In response, Commissioner Bangar recommended a rectification process for defective meters and prompt reimbursement for those without payment issues. He further suggested the introduction of a window scheme to streamline the process.
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