Mumbai: Lalbaugcha Raja Ganeshotsav Mandal fined Rs 60 lakh over past six years for failing to fill holes of decoration, says report

Known as Mumbai's most popular Ganpati mandal, Lalbaugcha Raja Ganeshotsav Mandal, has been allegedly fined Rs 60 lakh over the past six years for failing to fill the holes that it digs on roads to install decoration, said a report.

According to DNA, a local activist named Mahesh Vengurlekar has alleged, citing data obtained through the Right to Information Act, that the mandal dug 953 trenches in 2018 alone. As per BMC rules, the civic body fines mandals Rs 2,000 per pothole. “Every year, it creates a similar number of holes on roads but seldom fills them. The Mandal hasn’t paid anything so far,” Vengurleka told the leading daily.

But the mandal has stressed that it had cleared all pending dues. Mandal secretary Sudhir Salvi told the DNA, “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.” An official from the local ward office (F South) told the leading daily that they will soon act against the Mandal for not paying the fine.

At the Lalbaugcharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, on September 2, a devotee offered a gold plate, two bowls, two spoons and one glass to the idol, all of which weigh 1237 gm, and were estimated to be worth Rs 49,83,873. On September 3, it received a 1kg gold bar, 1kg silver bar and 1kg silver neckpiece, among other things. The value of the gold bar is at least Rs 40,33,000 and of two silver offerings is Rs 1,05,142.