Pune: Ganesh festival is just around the corner and the organisers of Ganpati pandals have already started their planning. However, on Tuesday, the Bombay High Court has directed the State government and the civic bodies to take action against those who put up Ganpati pandals without prior permission or registration with the civic body.
Presidents of the most Ganpati mandals in the city are of the opinion that mostly all pandals are registered with the civic body, as people celebrate the festival in the most auspicious manner in Pune. Mahesh Suryavanshi, treasurer, Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple Trust, said, “There are around 5,000 Ganpati mandals in the city which are all registered with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Last year, the PMC started online registration. There may be some pandals which are not registered but those are mostly in slums and other pocket areas of the city. There is no big problem here”
Rajabhau Tikar, President of Tambdi Jogeshwari Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, said, “The High Court decision is absolutely correct. There may be some mandals who do not register with the civic body and sometimes, they have to face severe problems in case of fire accidents or electricity issue. We always check that there are no illegal pandals near our area.”
Shrikant Shete, President of Kasba Ganpati Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, said, “The move of the High Court is appreciable because most of the illegal mandals collect money from people and spend it in different ways.
This is done mostly by the youngsters. To stop this, the High Court order will be really helpful.”
Madhav Jagtap, head of the Anti-Encroachment Department, said, “In 2016, only 14,500 mandals had registered with us and in 2017, 2,060 mandals had registered. Last year, there were 15 to 16 defaulters of which 10 had not registered because of some technical glitches, while the rest had not registered at all. We forced them to shut their pandals.”