The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) held its Navratri coordination meeting along with event organisers at the civic headquarters on Wednesday, where some key decisions were taken for the upcoming celebrations. One of the suggestions made at the meeting was that all organisers make parking space for vehicles within the venue during dandiya and other Navratri events.
One of the major discussions during the meeting revolved around parking concerns during the upcoming festival. Officials from the Traffic department suggested that parking space for vehicles be provided within the event venue so that the celebrations are “more organised and hassle-free”. “It will not only benefit the attendees but also contribute to overall safety and accessibility,” the traffic department said, stressing that Navratri event organisers in the city must allocate dedicated space for parking within their venues.
BMC will also waive permit fees and fire brigade fee for Navratri mandals. Representation pic
According to an official, the move would help streamline and improve the management of vehicles at the event, ensuring a more convenient and enjoyable experience for attendees and other road users.
More than 1,200 Navratri mandals in Mumbai city get official permission every year and Chhat Puja is organised at more than 82 locations.
Easier to get permits
Other key decisions taken include the use of a single window scheme, along the lines of the Ganesh festival, for all permits required for the Navratri events. The BMC will also waive permit fees and fire brigade fees for non-commercial Navratri mandals and a nominal deposit amount Rs 100 will be charged.
“On Dussehra, there will be an arrangement for artificial ponds for Durga idol immersion, garba immersion, adequate lighting of the venue, toilets, fumigation to control mosquitoes, sanitation of the venue and Nirmalya Kalash for proper disposal of flowers and garlands. The arrangement will be similar to those made for Ganesh Visarjan,” said a civic official. He added that the police administration has been asked to focus on women’s safety in particular and to prevent theft by deploying adequate security. Meanwhile, the traffic police have been directed to pay special attention to traffic control, seamless movement of vehicles and parking arrangements.
The civic body and the police will also put up banners for public awareness and pertaining to the safety of women during Navratri, ras dandiya, and garba events.
Transport and civic experts had a mixed reaction to the move. “An excellent decision. Not only with respect to solving traffic jam problems on roads but also with respect to security and law and order, as over the world, events seem to be an easy target for terrorists,” Jitendra Gupta of Citizens Transport Committee told mid-day.
A publicity stunt?
Meanwhile, Jagdeep Desai, architect academician, founder trustee and chairperson of the Forum for Improving Quality Of Life in Mumbai Suburbs (IQOLMS), said, “How many persons are expected at each venue? Where is the open space as required, and how many vehicles will be accommodated? After all, a car parking space is 2.5 metres by 5.5 metres, and then you need road space to move in and out. I would call the move impractical. It`s just a publicity statement. Instead, they should clearly demarcate parking on the road, with say, a fee of Rs50 per hour or whatever, without double parking, and ensure smooth flow of traffic,” Desai said.
Day Navratri festival begins
Chhat Puja changing room for ladies
Among other several key decisions made during the coordination meeting, a key decision was to make arrangements like having separate rooms for women to change clothes. Additionally, during the time of Chhat Puja—from sunset on November 19 to sunrise on November 20—necessary police force will be provided. There will also be an arrangement for artificial ponds that are necessary for Chhat Puja, illumination of the venue, toilet facilities, fumigation and sanitation of venues and Nirmalya Kalash.