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Bansri Shah, Pune

As the city gears up for the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, the Pune Municipal Commissioner has introduced new directives, both for the organizers as well as the public, to ensure seamless and secure celebrations. The guidelines as released by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) focus on its emphasis on permits, sustainability, grievances, and ecological accountability.

The mandals that will be constructed should not exceed a height of 40 feet. In case of a requirement for taller mandals, special permits will have to be issued and taken which include a stability certificate from a structural engineer to ensure the safety of the construction. During the festival, it is the responsibility of the mandals and event organizers to handle the crowds and to make sure that the required safety measures are in place.

One of the most emphasized points is the focus on sustainability. PMC has encouraged everyone to participate in the festival in an eco-friendly manner like having “greener” idols. There will also be artificial immersion wells available at 265 different locations across the city to curb water pollution by not immersing the idols in natural bodies of water.

Zonal offices have received instructions to upload cleanliness standards in various public areas including streets, open spaces, riverbeds, river ghats, immersion wells as well as the locations of the Ganesha Mandals. This directive aligns with the city of Pune’s commitment to maintaining public cleanliness during Ganeshotsav.

Arrangements have also been made to allow the public to report any grievances. Complaints can be registered through the official website of the PMC, their toll-free number, on WhatsApp and even via email. The goal is to attend to any concerns or issues as quickly as possible to ensure the well-being of the citizens of the city.

Pune Metro, too, has issued a set of guidelines to be followed. Idols taken in the metro cannot be more than two feet in height and cannot be carried during peak travel hours of the day. Permission to play dhols and tashas in the metro has not been given, emphasizing maintenance of peace, both on the stations as well as within the trains. Items like gulal, flowers, crackers (or any flammable items), loudspeakers, and megaphones are prohibited from being used on the metro.

After the conclusion of the festivals, the Ganesh Mandals are expected to remove their construction and everything along with it from the roads within three days. If any potholes have been created at their hands, it is their responsibility to fill them with cement at their own expense and restore the road to its previous condition.