Ganpati immersions begin in Mumbai amid heightened security | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Ganpati immersions begin in Mumbai amid heightened security

The culmination of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, which began August 25, took place on Tuesday as idols were immersed at various water bodies.

mumbai Updated: Sep 05, 2017 15:05 IST
Yesha Kotak
Devotees immerse an idol of the Ganesh into the Sabarmati river on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Ahmedabad on September 5.
Devotees immerse an idol of the Ganesh into the Sabarmati river on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Ahmedabad on September 5.(REUTERS)

Thousands of devotees came out on the roads of Mumbai on Tuesday to immerse the idols, big and small, of Hindu god Ganesha at various points in the city after the end of the 10-day celebrations as the police put traffic restrictions in place and issued several security advisories.

The festival held in honour of the elephant-headed god is primarily celebrated in homes and in public by local community groups or mandals who install idols of Ganesha. This year, the festival started on August 25.

Organisers of Lalbaughcha Raja, one of the most visited pandals or marquees in Mumbai, began the immersion procession and will take their usual route before reaching Girgaum Chowpatty on Wednesday.

“We left from the pandal around 11am and the visarjan (immersion) is expected to take place around 5am the next morning. Like last year, we will have an electric raft for Bappa and he will be immersed directly in the water with the help of it,” said Balasaheb Kamble, president of Lalbaugcharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal.

The Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshostsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS) has issued a list of guidelines for mandals.

“I met all the mandals and spoke to them. They have been asked to not fight with the police personnel and behave properly with female devotees. They have also been asked to make way and give priority to sick patients and emergency services, such as ambulances,” BSGSS president Naresh Dahibavkar said.

Dahibhavkar added the police have also requested the Samiti to issue instructions to all mandals asking them to get only the trucks with the idols around the immersion spot to avoid clogging the area with too many vehicles.

The committee has been asked to ensure the immersion areas are cleared quickly after the religious process is over so that the crowd at these locations can be managed.

“We are hoping that the traffic across the city will not be affected due to the Metro construction work as MMRDA has helped us by clearing the blockages, which could ease the visarjan process. I believe that will help us follow the instructions given by the police department,” Dahibhavkar said.

To maintain security in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks around the world, the committee has asked all the mandals to check the identity cards of the truck drivers.

Over 40,000 policemen have been deployed to keep a check on the crowds as 80,000 idols will be immersed at 119 points across the city. More than 8000 civic officials and workers will be stationed at 70 natural immersion sites and 31 other sites. At the beaches, 607 lifeguards will keep an eye on the devotees.