Already in loss of Rs.500 crore due to lockdown amidst Coronavirus pandemic cyclone Nisarga has caused wide spread damage to the Ganpati idols in workshops
Mumbai: The wind fury and heavy rains that Cyclone Nisarga unleashed over Raigad after making landfall on June 3 did not even spare the Ganpati idols of Pen as the cyclone caused widespread damage worth crores of rupees to the idol makers.
The cyclone district badly affected 15 taluka’s of Raigad district – Alibag, Murud, Pen, Tala, Srivardhan, Margaon, Mhasala and Roha. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) after making landfall, the wind speed had touched a maximum of 120 Kmph, resulting in damage to scores of Ganpati idols in various workshops in Pen Taluka and crores of loss to the idol makers.
The Ganpati Idol Makers from Pen taluka in Raigad district of Maharashtra export Ganpati idols to other districts and to other states as well. The Pen city itself has about 5,000 workshops and has about 10 lakhs production of Ganpati idols. The estimated loss to Ganpati Idol Makers by the cyclone is to the tune of Rs. 10 crore.
The Idol Makers from Pen city has already availed loan of about Rs 125 crores from banks to procure raw materials and other infrastructure. No business amid lockdown they were searching for options under unlock1.0, however another natural calamity cyclone Nisarga has given big jolt in business.
Nilesh Waskar an idol maker and owner of workshop from Pen city said, “The ordered Ganpati Idols were in workshop, around 4000 idols of Ganpati were ready to be delivered. However, everything got damaged due to cyclone Nisarga. Due to the strong cyclonic winds the overhead shed fell off on the Ganpati idols, causing a loss of about Rs. 5 lakhs to me.”
Pen exports its eco-friendly Ganpati idols to America, Canada, Singapore, Dubai , Malaysia, Bangkok and London. In India Pen also exports Ganpati idols to Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Indore, Rajasthan, Banaras and Maharashtra is hub of Ganpati festival celebration. This year the business could not take off due to lockdown.
“I have to start again with fresh raw materials and it is costly. I am already in debt and I can start production only if I get compensation”, added Waskar.
The association – Shri Ganesh Murtikar And Commercial Kalyankari Mandal (SGMACKM) authorities claim that Ganpati idols have been badly damaged and has given rise to financial loss to thousands of Idol Makers in Pen taluka. “The panchnamas are still going on thus estimated loss in Pen city is of about Rs. 4 to 5 crores and loss to other idol makers in taluka can be around Rs 5 to 6 crores. Somehow the Ganpati idol makers were getting a ray of hope from end of June. Now they have to again start production of idols”, said Bharat Pawar owner of a workshop.
Amidst the lockdown due to the Coronavirus, idol makers from Pen taluka have not been able to deliver their idols from March this year. The export of Ganpati idols begins in the month of March and April, however amidst lockdown from March 25, the total business from Pen taluka had come to a grinding halt.
Anil Dhere another Idol Maker said, “My loss is of about Rs.1.50 lakh. The panchnama has just begun and it will take time as there are several workshops in city alone. After the panchanma they will decide to sanction the compensation. “
Ravindra Patil, MLA from Pen constituency said, “Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had visited and announced Rs. 100 crore financial package to Raigad district. The panchanma has stared now, since there is only one talathi available, the progress of the panchnama work is slow. Due to coronavirus pandemic the idol makers of Pen taluka were already had a huge financial set back now this cyclone Nisarga has destroyed them completely if needed I will ask for special package for them”.