This year, civic body is giving permission for setting up pandals online
Ganpati mandals that use their society's property or land to celebrate Ganeshostav, too, need to get permission from the civic body. While the permissions for pandals are being majorly given online this year, these mandals were unaware that they did not need to get the permission online, but could have got it manually.
By August 28, around 209 mandals had applied for permission with BMC. To ease the process and clear all confusion, the BMC has decided to give permission to such mandals online as well as offline. Narendra Barde, BMC's DMC of Zone II, said: "Both the options are available for these mandals. They can apply online and manually as well. We are not forcing them to submit only manual forms."
A few mandals who were aware of this said that permission could have been sought by visiting the building ad factory department of the BMC, and applying manually. Most of the mandals, as well as the authorities, including police, traffic police and fire brigade, were unaware of this rule.
One of the members from a Ganpati Mandal in Meghwadi, Jogeshwari, said" "We had applied through the online process a month ago, but a few days ago, we came to know that we have to fill up the form manually. Our mandal's Ganpati idol is kept inside a temple area, so we don't require to set up a pandal. We need permission only for the outside decoration — temple area. Until last year, we took permission only from the traffic police and fire brigade."
Speaking about the problems, he added: "While for a month we tried to fill up the form online, we had to spend two to three hours to complete the process. Majority of the time, the website showed an error. Documents that needed to be attached was not clear. For manual application, we had applied a few days ago, and the process has now begun."
Shivaji Khairnar, a member of the Ganeshotsav Smanvay Samiti, which hasn't received permission for their mandal in Jogeshwari, said: "The civic authority should have an officer dedicated for festival permissions. They should have started the public campaign much earlier. Then, all mandals would have been aware of the process."