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No illegal Ganesh pandals in Mumbai: BMC tells Bombay High Court

The state government had on Wednesday told the bench that there existed around 314 illegal pandals in the city and its suburbs.  

Reported by: PTI, Mumbai [ Published on: September 14, 2018 18:38 IST ]

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) told the Bombay High Court Friday that there were no illegal Ganesh pandals in the city.

In an affidavit submitted before a bench of Justices A S Oka and M S Sonak, the BMC refuted the claims made by the state government before the bench on a previous hearing.

The state government had on Wednesday told the bench that there existed around 314 illegal pandals in the city and its suburbs.

BMC counsel Anil Sakhre, however, told the court that the state had been mistaken.

He said surveys conducted across the city and suburbs by the civic body had revealed that there were no illegal pandals in the city. However, there were 79 of them in the suburbs, Sakhre said.

According to him, the BMC had already demolished 20 of these pandals and similar action was pending against the others.

The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking strict implementation of noise pollution rules in the state and also action against illegal pandals erected during the festivals.

In the last hearing, the state said inspections conducted by various municipal corporations across Maharashtra had revealed that several pandals had been constructed in violation of municipal rules, and noise pollution norms.

The bench has now directed the state to explain the discrepancy in the figures from Mumbai and its suburbs.

It has also directed 11 other municipal corporations from across the state to inform the court about the steps taken against all unauthorised pandals erected across the state ahead of the Ganpati festival.

In another hearing on the related issue of noise pollution during the Ganpati festival, a bench led by Justice Shantanu Kemkar denied interim relief to the Professional Audio and Lighting Association (PALA).

The bench said the association cannot use DJ systems and high volume Dolby sound systems in violation of noise norms, during Ganpati immersion and Navratri.

The bench led by Justice Kemkar was hearing a petition filed by the PALA challenging the state's blanket ban on DJs and Dolby sound systems during the immersion and Navratri.

The bench, however, directed the state government to file an affidavit explaining its policy that warrants such blanket ban on the use of high output sound systems. 

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