Man­dals scout for new venues

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI -

With the Bom­bay high court com­ing down hard against Man­dals or­ga­niz­ing Ganeshot­sav and Navratri on roads, sev­eral top man­dals in the city are look­ing for al­ter­na­tive venues. With lit­tle avail­abil­ity of space, the man­dals have a her­culean task ahead of them.

A 31-year-old man­dal in Vashi has this year been de­nied an al­ter­na­tive place it had been given last year. The man­dal is now look­ing for the third venue.

The lo­cal agen­cies are strictly fol­low­ing the or­ders of Mum­bai high court with re­spect to the fes­tiv­i­ties. No per­mis­sion is be­ing given to any man­dal that could en­croach upon roads and public spa­ces caus­ing has­sles to the res­i­dents.

NMMC has re­jected per­mis­sion for fes­tiv­i­ties planned not just on roads, but also along­side the roads. The man­dals are rush­ing to find spots that will get them clear­ances in the last minute.

The sar­va­janik Ganeshot­sav man­dal of ward 62 in Vashi was usu­ally cel­e­brated in the open space near the SSC and HSC board of­fice. NMMC had last year de­nied it per­mis­sion as it en­croach on in­ter­nal road. Fol­low­ing a re­quest by the man­dal, it had then been given space by NMMC, be­hind the rear gate of Vish­nudas Bhave au­di­to­rium in Vashi. NMMC had charged the man­dal for the space pro­vided.

This year, the man­dal has been de­nied this space. The man­dal mem­bers are now hence look­ing for yet an­other al­ter­na­tive.

A sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion ex­ists in Nerul where the fes­tiv­i­ties were ear­lier or­ga­nized un­der Sea­woods bridge. They too are search­ing for a new spot. Mangesh Cha­van, a so­cial worker, said, “More than a dozen such man­dals are look­ing for new venues. Some man­dals are clean­ing up filthy ar­eas and oc­cupy the space.”

An NMMC of­fi­cial, “We are go­ing strictly by the court or­ders. We will not re­lax the norms for any­one.”

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