Ganpati Mandals across the city take permission from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to dig roads and install pandals during Ganeshotsav on the precondition that they will fill them up once the festival is over.
The Lalbaugcha Raja Ganeshotsav Mandal, one of Mumbai’s most popular Ganpati Mandal, has been fined Rs 60 lakh over the past six years. According to local activist Mahesh Vengurlekar, the Mandal is fined for digging up roads to install decorations.
According to the activist, Right to Information data revealed that the Mandal had dug close to 1,000 holes in 2018 alone. Vengurlekar added: “Every year, it creates a similar number of holes on roads but seldom fills them. The Mandal hasn’t paid anything so far.”
While the Lalbaug organisers claim that they have cleared all dues, civic officials have rubbished the statement.
Notably, all Mandals across the city take permission from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to dig roads and install pandals during Ganeshotsav on the precondition that they will fill them up once the festival is over. In fact, Mumbai's Ganeshotsav co-ordination committee mandates that all Ganpati organisers have a moral duty to fill potholes they have dug, once the celebrations are over.
However, if these holes are left unattended by the Mandals, the civic body fines them Rs 2,000 for every hole dug, reported DNA. Moreover, there is added interest to the fine amount if the dues are not cleared within the stipulated deadline.Going by that rule, Lalbaug Mandal has also been asked to pay the interest over the fine amount due. However, the Mandal’s secretary Sudhir Salvi alleged that the civic body is asking them to pay fines for roads that are not under their ambit. “The BMC had fined us for potholes on Paralkar Marg and near KEM Hospital. We had challenged it and given a counter-letter to the civic body. We have cleared all the dues and I can even send you the bills to prove it,” he said.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.