Belagavi has a unique place in the history of Karnataka as it was here that the Ganesha festival was first celebrated as a public event, and was kick-started by none other than the legendary freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
More than 1 lakh people visit the pandal every day during the 10-day celebrations. Every suburb in the city now has a Ganesh Utsav Mandal and in some lanes, two idols are installed at either end. Even new layouts and lanes have begun installing Ganesha idols, taking the number to 378 in the city limits.
But this time around thanks to the smart city incomplete roads, pothole laden roads, no street lights the citizens is having a hard time seeing their favorite Ganesh.
This time around the rains have added to the misery of the Ganesh Bhakts with water logging and continuous downpour.
On Sunday night we saw traffic jams due to potholes and one family fell down as the rider could not control when he landed his front wheel in a pothole. Luckily no major injuries. Many bikes skidded on the roughened Mahatma Phule road.
The police which barricades everywhere did not barricade potholes and incomplete roads. Above all these people throwing crackers in the air added more to the problems.
In Shahpur only recently an elderly man lost his sight due to crackers but who cares.
The corporation might have installed some lamps on streets where the procession goes by but there are roads and circles in dark and traveling in the night is a huge issue.
Only Lord Ganesh can save his children.