Ganesh Mandals in Belagavi have demanded free power supply, among other facilities, for idol installations during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival. The festivities will begin on September 19 and end on September 28 in the city.
They have also demanded round-the-clock police security, crowd control assistance, emergency medical care, single window clearance and exemption from banner and poster charges.
The city of around four lakh population has over 2,000 Ganesh Mandals in the corporation and urban agglomeration areas. As many as 400 of the mandals are registered with the city corporation.
Public Works Minister and district in-charge Satish Jarkiholi has agreed to most of the demands but has remained non-committal about free power supply as it concerns a policy decision at the State-level, Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti leader and office-bearer of the Ganesh Mandal Committee Ramakant Konduskar said.
“The Minister has, however, asked us to explore the possibility of supplying power at domestic rates or even lower rates,” Mr. Konduskar told The Hindu.
“We want to celebrate Ganesh Utsav in Belagavi at the level of Mysore Dasara, if the State government supports us with additional funds,” he said.
He said that he will lead a delegation to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with this demand.
HESCOM officials went around the city on Tuesday to inspect power lines and poles on the procession routes, to see if any needed repairs. Engineer Sunil Kumar, Ashwin Shinde, Ganesh Utsav mandal office- bearers Sunil Jadhav and Vijay Jadhav and others were present.
Among the decisions taken at a meeting of mandal representatives and officials and city corporation members are setting up a single window agency to issue permits from various departments for Ganesh idol installations.
This will reduce the burden of the mandals and ensure that they will not have to run around various offices, the Minister told officials on Monday.
On their part, the mandals shall agree to a common time-table for installation and immersion processions, and stick to it, the Minister said.
The Public Works Department will work with the city corporation to see that public toilets, especially for women and physically challenged, are put up in all areas that are expected to witness higher footfall.
He asked the Deputy Director of Health and Family Welfare to see that ambulances are stationed at various points and that some doctors are deputed to some mobile health care units to attend to emergencies.
Deputy Commissioner Nitesh Patil has asked city corporation, Public Works Department, BSNL and electricity board official to work in coordination to see that all works like road repair, gutter cleaning, filling potholes and utility box digging refilling, clearing power lines above the average height of Ganesh idols and water supply are carried out properly.
The State government has released ₹1 crore for the preparations. A large gallery/screen will be put up at Sambhaji Chowk for the general public to witness the immersion procession.
Police Commissioner S.N. Sidramappa said that additional forces will be requisitioned from surrounding taluks and districts and posted in the city before and during the installation.
Officers from eight police stations will be involved in issuing necessary permits, Mr. Sidramappa said. He also said that jurisdictional officers will take up a pre-installation patrol of all the wards where idols will be installed.
A team led by Deputy Commissioners of Police will be monitoring the crowds using CCTVs and drones.
City Corporation Commissioner Ashok Dudagunti said that officials are holding a series of meetings to see that the festival passes off smoothly.
Mayor Shobha Somanache, Ganeshotsav Mahamandal secretary Vikas Kalghatgi, office-bearers like Netaji Jadhav and others were present.