Safe Ganesh festival rules by fire authorities.
This year, Ganpati mandals in the city will have to sign an undertaking issued by the fire department if they want to go ahead with Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. This undertaking comprises 23 safety guidelines, that Ganpati mandals have to take permissions for at their ward levels.
There are new norms for the Ganpati festival this year 2018.
The fire department guidelines are clear that the mandals need to submit a "self-certified declaration on a Rs 500 stamp paper about compliance of fire safety measures to the ward authority, and it would be the sole responsibility of organisers to comply with all fire safety measures under Section 3(3) of Maharashtra Fire Prevention and life safety measures Act – 2006".
This year, Ganpati mandals will have to follow the new safety rules drafted after the 2017 Kamala Mills fire. by submitting a fire safety undertaking
Under the new rules, it is compulsory for Ganesh mandals to appoint a fire marshal, who is present at all times with a team if possible, acquainted with summoning the fire brigade, evacuation and fire-fighting procedure, from among themselves.
Based on the pandal’s size, organisers will have to arrange fire extinguishers and hydrants with at least nine litres of water, and dry powder that is used for fire fighting.
Pandals must be erected at least 10ft away from any building and must not block any entrances, internal access ways, and approach roads. They should not be constructed around railway lines, furnaces, or electric substations. Pandals will also not be allowed to store anything below the stage.
The rules also mandate that no bulbs, wiring, or flood lights be installed within 15cm of any combustible decorative material.
The wards recently held meeting's to encourage all Ganesha, Navratri and Durga Puja pandals to adhere to the new policy of the ban on plastic bags.
Regular inspections will check that the festivities are enjoyed without any mishaps.
(Elsie Gabriel is an award winning post graduate certified Green Teacher and Environmental Law expert. With twenty years of writing experience she has travelled to remote corners of the earth researching, photographing, documenting facts that bind the threads of anthropological wonder. Powai runs in her veins)