The decision was taken in a meeting on Ganpati preparations at the civic headquarters. Just as there are civic rewards for mandals that put up the best show while following all the rules and regulations, there should be punishment for those flouting the norms, an official said. “When we can appreciate the best, why should not we punish and shame who leave our roads littered? This is the only way to teach the mandals a lesson as they choose to ignore repeated warnings every year,” said a senior civic official.
The city has nearly 1,055 small and big mandals that erect pandals on roads and footpaths after paying a mandatory amount as deposit. The rules allow BMC to forfeit the amount if the mandals do not follow the norms. “Every year, we forfeit their deposit money and yet, we find the roads littered and dug up. The mandals have to start taking responsibility for their actions,” said Kishor Kshirsagar, deputy municipal commissioner, Zone I.
The BMC spends between Rs 3 crore and Rs 5 crore to repair roads so that the Ganpati processions are not inconvenienced. As a preventive measure, this year, the civic body has also decided to charge mandals Rs 500 more as penalty for the holes they dig on roads.
The mandal representatives, however, think that the roads remain in a bad condition due to the BMC’s own fault. “The civic body has itself to blame for the holes on the roads. Last year, it collected Rs 4 lakh as fine from 50 mandals across the city for damaging roads. But the condition of those streets still remained the same,” said a mandal organiser.