Mumbai’s Lalbaugcha Raja has a due penalty of Rs 60 lakh over the past six years as it has not fill the holes dug on roads for decoration purposes, alleged a local activist in a report by DNA.
Activist Mahesh Vengurlekar, citing data earned through the Right to Information (RTI), claimed the popular Ganpati pandal had dug at lease 953 holes in 2018 alone and did not fill them up. "Every year, it creates a similar number of holes on roads but seldom fills them," Vengurlekar said, "The Mandal hasn't paid anything so far."
While the claims were denied by the organising mandal which said all the dues had been cleared, an anonymous civic body official confirmed that the fine was not paid yet.
However, mandal secretary Sudhir Salvi, on the other hand, blamed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for fining them for the roads beyond the area they cover. “The BMC had fined us for potholes on Paralkar Marg and near KEM Hospital. We had challenged it and given a counter-letter to the civic body. We have cleared all the dues and I can even send you the bills to prove it,” he said.
Ganeshmahotsav mandals across the city require BMC’s permission to install pandals on the roads and are expected to fill the holes dug once the Utsav ends. As per BMC rules, they are fined Rs 2,000 per hole if fail to do so.
An official from the local ward office (F South) said action would be taken against the mandal for not paying the fine.
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