The Brihannmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has fined several Ganeshotsav mandals in Mumbai to the tune of Rs 12.94 lakh, for allegedly damaging the city's roads during the 12-day festive period that came to an end last week. Media reports said the famous Lalbaughcha Raja and Parel's Sarv Ganeshotsav Mandal were among the mandals which were fined.
The mandals were penalised for damaging the city's road structure by erecting poles and stage for devotees to queue during Ganeshotsav, The Indian Express reported.
The famous Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal was fined 4.86 lakh for leaving behind more than 200 potholes, while the Ganesh Galli Ganpati Mandal has been asked to pay pay Rs 4.14 lakh, India Today reported.
According to Hindustan Times, the BMC inspects road quality in all 24 wards and charges Rs 2,000 for each pothole every year after the festival.
According to The Indian Express, other mandals have been fined amounts ranging between Rs 18,000 and Rs 68,000. Among the 13 mandals listed by the civic body, Chinchpokli Sarv Utsav Mandal was penalised Rs 68,000, Babagopal Sarv Ganeshotsav Mandal in Curry Road was fined Rs 48,000 and Parel’s Sarv Ganeshotsav Mandal was fined Rs 46,000.
However, it appears that being asked to pay fines for damaging the roads isn't anything new for most mandals, but few of them do actually pay the fines. "We fine these mandals every year but they avoid coughing up the money. Many have to pay dues pending for five years now," a BMC official was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
Vishwas Mote, assistant municipal commissioner, BMC, Parel ward, speaking to The Free Press Journal, said, "Many Ganpati mandals have breached the 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) norms given for setting up of pandals, and hence notice have been served to all who are at fault."
Balasaheb Kamble, president of Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, denied receiving any information about the issue. Speaking to Hindustan Times, he said, "We are ready to pay if the roads are damaged by us. It is impossible that we created 200 potholes. We took extra precaution this year. The queue for Lalbaugcha Raja is the longest, so the BMC assumes that all the potholes in the area were left by us."
More than 11,000 idols from various mandals across the city were immersed this year.
Updated Date: Sep 14, 2017 15:45 PM