VISAKHAPATNAM: Paying no heed to the strict instructions issued by the police, many Ganesh pandal organisers in the city are yet to obtain the mandatory permissions and putting up pandals on the footpaths in violation of the rules.
The police, who initially announced August 30 as the last date of submitting applications for Ganesh pandals, have extended the date to September 5.
Many pandal organisers in One Town, II Town, III Town, HB Colony, some sectors in MVP Colony and Peda Gantyada areas are erecting pandals, flouting the norms.
The organisers in Jalaripeta, Burujupeta, Poorna Market neighbourhood, Dabagardens and Madhuranagar are even digging up the roads to erect pandals. In areas near VUDA Park and Appugarh, even the footpaths laid during the International Fleet Review in February are not spared. Pandals are being erected in Dwarakanagar, HB Colony and Akkayyapalem encroaching on public roads, which is already causing traffic snarls.
On Tuesday, a senior police officer received a message through WhatsApp from a resident of MVP Colony, complaining that the pandal being erected on the Alwar Das Grounds is in dangerous position and may collapse any time. The MVP Colony police inspected the spot and asked the organisers to make several changes.
Many pandals are being erected without police permission. Till August 30, the City Police received around 800 applications, while the expectation was a minimum of 4,000. The police received a jolt last year as around 4,500 Ganesh pandals sprouted in the city, though they had given permission for just 2,000.
“Around 1,800 to 2,000 pandal were approved last year. But during the immersion, the final count of idols were more than 4,500. Though many pandals were from apartments which did not need permission, it’s a fact that many do not take permission before erecting the pandals,” said a Special Branch police officer.
The police say that they are expecting more than 1,500 to 2,000 applications for Ganesh pandals in the next four to five days.
However, police also warn that if they find any pandal erected sans permission, they will seize the pandal and action will be taken against the organisers.
Fire safety officials from the GVMC wing has made it clear that there should be a fire extinguisher, water tubs and sand mandatorily near the pandal. In case any violation, strong action will be taken, said officials.