The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) seems to be clueless about the status of silence zones in the city. When Ganapati mandals sought information on the status of silence zones, the BMC officials said they will seek information first and then get back to them. “There were about 142 silence zones earmarked in Mumbai. In 2009, the high court had asked the state to set up a committee, including the BMC commissioner, state chief secretary and other senior officials to review silence zones. So we asked the BMC what was the status. Should we hold the 142 silence zones valid or are there any new guidelines?” Naresh Dahibaokar of the Ganesh Mandal Co-ordination Committee said.
“The BMC will have to check the status,” Additional Commissioner Aseem Gupta replied. “We are not clear if we should go with the existing list or does the committee have new recommendations. Police will take action against us for violation so we need to be careful,” Dahibaokar said.
The BMC has also decided to waive off the security deposit taken from each Ganpati mandal and has told the mandals to level up roads that are dug up to erect makeshift platforms for the deity. If they fail to do so then they will not get permission next year.
“Each Ganapati mandal pays Rs 2,000 to the BMC as security deposit for the damages that it may incur during the 10-day festival. This year the sum has been waived off, but the mandal should be responsible to restore the road once the stage is dismantled,” he said. Gupta said the BMC has also started the process of online registration for Ganapati mandals on its website.
Ganapati mandals have given August 15 as the deadline to fill the potholes, which lead to the Ganesh mandals. “We will do our best. However, it will be difficult to meet the deadline if it rains,” Additional Commissioner Aseem Gupta said.