The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has launched two toll-free numbers for residents of all 24 wards to register complaints of noise pollution and illegal Ganeshotsav pandals. “Once a complaint is registered with the toll-free number or with officials designated at ward levels, the matter will be forwarded to the police, who along with civic officials, will measure the decibel levels of the area. If there is a violation, the ward office concerned will issue a notice to the mandals,” said a BMC official.
He added, “The complaints of illegal pandals, pandals erected on the footpath or those affecting vehicular traffic will be dealt with in a similar manner.” The toll-free numbers are 1292 and 1293. Besides, the civic body has published a list of officials on its website with whom citizens can register their complaints.
To protect the city’s water bodies from the damage caused by idol immersions, the BMC has created 31 artificial ponds for Ganesh Chaturthi this year. All ward offices have been instructed to arrange decorations of flowers, rangolis, lighting and audio facilities at the ponds during the immersion. Platforms to conduct the last pooja before the immersion will also be provided.
Meanwhile, just a day ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, the BMC has granted permissions for pandals to 935 mandals, of the total 2,085 applications received.
While 911 applications are pending due to clearance from the police, traffic and fire department, around 239 applications had been rejected by the civic body till Thursday evening. However, this has not stopped mandals from erecting pandals with elaborate decorations, expecting last-minutes clearance from the civic body.
Naresh Dahibaokar, co-ordinator, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS), the umbrella organisation of all mandals in the city, said that even after a single-window system was introduced, mandals have to wait for permission till the last minute. “Mandals can not wait for BMC permissions. The permission can be granted during the third or fourth day of Ganesh Chaturthi, mandals cannot start erecting their pandals and decorating them after that. We have to finish all that well in advance. Why should we suffer due to the lack of coordination among the BMC, the traffic police and the local police?” said Dahibaokar.