July 29, 2009 4:25:20 am
Getting permission to erect pandals for the upcoming Ganesh festival will be a lot more convenient for the mandal members this year. They can now get the permission required at any of the 28 police stations in the city,unlike last year,when people from as far as Pimpri-Chinchwad had to come to the police commissioners office for permission.
Police officers said the applications would be accepted at all the 28 police stations in the city from August 1-15. The decision was taken after a meeting with officials of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC),Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC),Pune Cantonment Board (PCB),Public Works Department (PWD) and Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference,Rajendra Sonawane,joint commissioner of police,said staff from all government bodies,municipal corporations and cantonment boards will be present for granting permission at the commissioners office. A task force has been prepared by the PMC and the police for violations of rules pertaining to the festival by the mandals,he said. This year,Ganesh idols will be sold at various grounds in the city. A total of 121 grounds in schools,colleges and other places have been identified in this regard,he said.
Sonawane said animals could not be used during the festival. The police will also keep a close watch on violations as per the Supreme Court guidelines. On three days,loudspeakers will be allowed up to midnight. The police have also identified parking spaces. Also,the PMPML will start additional buses, he said.
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Further,the MSEDCL will offer concession rates to the mandals so as to avoid electricity theft. Action will be taken against defaulters. The company will also start a 24-hour control room during the festive season.
In order to avoid inconvenience to citizens,the municipal corporation has appealed to the mandals in order to erect the pandals 48 hours before the festive season and to remove them as soon as the festival concludes.
“The municipal corporation will not grant permissions to erect box type or cross arch pandals ” said Ramesh Shelar,chief security officer,PMC anti encroachment department.
The PMC will only grant permissions to erect arches that will not be a hindrance. If these norms are violated ,the PMC will initiate actions against the advertisers and the Ganesh mandals.
‘Too many restrictions will dampen Ganesh festival’
Saying that too many restrictions on the celebrations of Ganesh festival will hamper the cause of bringing people together,the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Monday urged the civic administration to give permission to put up pandals and erect hoardings for the forthcoming Ganesh festival.
“The Ganesh festival started by Lokmanya Tilak has significance in maintaining the social fabric. People from all communities participate in the festival,” city MNS chief Prakash Dhore said in a letter to Pune Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Zagade. He said the Ganesh mandals raise money for celebrating the festival from the hoarding advertisements of sponsors at their respective pandals. The decision to not erect hoardings will make it tough for the mandals to raise the money and in turn affect the celebrations,said Dhore.
Thus,the civic administration should give permission to erect the pandals,Dhore said. City BJP vice-president Sandeep Khardekar said the civic administration should immediately take a decision on the issue.
Meanwhile,all political parties in the Pune Municipal Corporation on Tuesday urged the civic administration to help the ganesh mandals in erecting pandals without digging roads. The appeal not to dig city roads is reasonable and the PMC should help the mandals in erecting pandals without digging, NCP leader Anil Bhosale said.
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