In an effort to sanitise the Ganeshotsav, the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvaya Samiti has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to make it mandatory for Ganesh mandals to not accept sponsorship from gutka, tobacco and liquor companies.
They have also asked the Mumbai Police to not allow mandals to play anything other than religious music.
While last year mandals had vowed not to display advertisements of these companies, many that are sponsored by them were found putting up direct or surrogate advertisements.
Members of the Samiti had a meeting with BMC officials on Wednesday where the latter agreed to insert a clause in the permission letter it gives every mandal wanting to set up a Ganesh pandal in the city. The clause will make it mandatory for all mandals to not accept sponsorships from gutka, Virginia cigarette and alcohol companies and to not put up their advertisements, whether direct or surrogate.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta confirmed the development. “Last year, they were exercising self-prohibition on the display of such ads. This year, we are looking at making it a clause while granting permission,” he said.
The festival will be celebrated between September 1 and 11 and the number of mandals in the city is set to cross 12,500 from last year’s 11, 914.
Members have also asked the Mumbai Police — that gives NoC regarding noise levels — to ensure mandals don’t play non-religious songs. President of the committee, Naresh Dahibawkar, said most complaints were about vulgar and Bollywood songs being played at the pandals. “We have asked the police to give an NoC only if the mandal agrees to play devotional songs. They are yet to respond on the matter,” he said.