Banned currency notes made their way to Mumbai’s most popular Ganesh pandal – Lalbaugcha Raja – this year with devotees offering over Rs one lakh in demonetised currency to the Lord. Of the around Rs 6 crore, which the popular Lalbaugcha Raja in Parel received from devotees during the just concluded Ganesh festival, there were 105 notes of the scrapped Rs 1,000 denomination in the donation box.
“Of the 105 notes, one was torn. There were also 50 notes of the scrapped Rs 500 denomination,” an official from the state Charity Commissioner’s office said. “So far, the total donation received is Rs 5,93,14,800,” the official said.
“We are yet to count foreign currency received in the donation box and also the new currency ‘garlands’ offered to the deity,” the official said.
The quantum of donation this year was less compared to the around Rs 8 crore received last year. This year’s collection also included gold and silver. The official cited heavy rains, which lashed Mumbai on August 29 and led to flooding and disruption in transport services, as a key reason for the low donation amount. Million of devotees visited the Lalbaugcha Raja to seek blessings of Lord Ganesh during the festival that began on August 25 and ended on September 5. The footfall at the pandal was less for two days when most people stayed indoors due to heavy rains, he added.