The Mandal should take permission from the maintenance department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which sanctions the setting up of the mandap. The willing Mandals need to submit an online application for receiving the consent for setting up the Mandap.
The BMC issues two months prior notice to the Ganesh festival for the Ganesha Mandals across the city to seek permission by applying online. The BMC online application system is linked with the police and traffic department, respectively.
Before submitting the application to BMC, the applicant needs to sign an undertaking cum Indemnity Bond for fire safety requirements of the fire brigade. The Chairman, Secretary and applicant all three have to sign the undertaking or the bond.
After submitting the applications, the applications are forwarded to ward offices along with the police and traffic department within three days for approval.
Apart from the online permission, the Mandals have to obtain permission from the local police station for Agaman, Visarjan and playing sound system.
The notice issued states that the Mandals will have to follow the rules and regulations stated by BMC in Mumbai.
As per the High Court, the core committee of the Mandal has to take the permission of the City Police Commissioner so that police can ensure the right of the citizens, smooth movement of traffic and free pedestrian movement on footpaths.
Mandals should comply with the rules related to the location, immersion, sound limits etc. Some of the rules that should be followed by the Mandals are as follows:
- The Mandal cannot set up a Mandap which encroaches a footpath or obstructs traffic.
- The Mandal Committee members shall take measures to prevent sound pollution and should not use loudspeakers after 10 p.m.
- The Mandap should be located minimum 10 feet away from a building; also the road leading towards the Mandals should not have any obstructions for e.g. the parked vehicles, hoardings, etc.
- The Mandap should be at least 15 meters away from railway and from combustible places such as an electric sub-station, chimney or furnace.
- The necessary fire safety measures should be taken, including electrical wiring, fire extinguishers (both water and dry powdered ones), etc.
- Permission from police and traffic department is essential.
- The rules stated by BMC has clearly mentioned that the holes should not be made on the road. If any Mandals is found making holes on the road will be penalized with a hefty fine.
- It is necessary to mention the dimension of the Mandap with respect to its height, width, size, etc. while filling up the application form in order to get consent.
- No hoardings of advertisement related to tobacco and the related products anywhere within or around the mandap shall be found. The hoardings should not create an obstruction for the movement of people and emergency vehicles like an ambulance.
- The Mandal should be responsible for maintaining hygiene and cleanliness all around the Mandap for all days of the festival. After the celebration is done, the very next day, the whole place where the Mandap was built should be cleaned up. There should be no presence of litter/ garbage left around the Mandals.
- No stalls are allowed to set up inside the Mandals. The stalls set outside the Mandals are not permitted as they can possibly create an obstruction to the road. It is necessary to take permission for setting temporary arches, gates which the Mandals may build temporarily at the entry or exit point of the Mandap.
- Every Mandal should display the telephone or mobile number of the competent authority for various civic services, complaints, health-related complaints, for security purpose and different type of nuisance.
- The toll- free number should be displayed on the Mandap for the public to lodge a complaint if any.
- The organisers should not deliver the speeches or try to create violence in any way by insulting or abusing the people coming for darshan.
As per the guidelines issued by Bombay High Court, the Mandals have to give an undertaking that they will not cause inconvenience to the traffic and pedestrian movement, violate fire safety rules, play loudspeaker after the appointed time, create potholes on the road where Mandals are set. The Mumbai Police issues traffic advisory this year to deploy the 40,000 personnel for security of people. The municipal authorities have allowed not more than 200 people to cross the bridges in the allotted time this year and also some roads have been closed ahead for the Ganpati festival.
Over 50 Mandals were found violating the high court norms last year, after which the BMC served a notice stating that they would not get permission to erect Mandaps if they have flouted the rules given by the BMC.