Pune: Joint Police Commissioner Ravindra Shisve slammed Ganesh mandals in a review meeting held on Thursday stating that ‘some newbies in the city have taken the administration for granted’ with regards to the permission granted for mandap and idol immersion on basis of 2019 year. Joint CP Shisave also warned mandals ‘to not create a situation where police would have to charge anyone with lathis.’
Shisve made it clear to the Ganesh mandals that this year no permission will be given for tableaux, decorations and immersion processions.
Shisve said, “We need to take the present situation into account while taking decisions about celebrating Ganeshotsav. The daily count of new COVID-19 cases reported from Pune city is more than Mumbai city and if we add Pimpri-Chinchwad cases to it, then it is double the count of Mumbai. If the tradition of annual pilgrimage ‘Wari’ was altered this year, then why not take unprecedented decisions about Ganeshotsav? If Lokmanya Tilak were alive today, they would have also taken the same decisions like the administration has taken.”
“In such situations, we cannot leave important decisions to the discretion and prudence of certain mandals. Some from the administration may get hurt by my words, but if the situation is so ‘normal’ that we are not banning certain things, then why are we building jumbo hospital facilities,” questioned Shisve.
Joint CP Shisave also assured mandals that he is ready to give each and every mandal an assurance in writing on a stamp paper that even if Ganesh mandals do not celebrate or decorate their mandap this year or reduce the size of the mandap, they will be granted permission for a bigger mandap based on the 2019-year permission for next year 2021. “I request mandals with folded hands that please do not install bid mandaps just out of the fear that the administration will not give permission in 2021 to celebrate and decorate a bigger mandap,” Shisve said.
Citing examples of some mandals, Shisve said, “We conducted a meeting of all mandals in Zone 1 jurisdiction of Pune police. There are a total of 709 mandals of which 588 mandals have agreed to install and immerse the Ganesh idols in their existing temples and not in separate mandaps. But still, there are 101 mandals who are asking for permission to set up separate mandaps since they do not have their own temple.”
Shisve also appealed to Ganesh Mandals to create a ‘Pune Model’ by refraining from installing huge mandaps, or taking out processions or setting up tableaux.