The city’s Lalbaugcha Raja pandal, which draws in millions of devotees every Ganeshotsav, will see heightened security this year.
“The area will be under CCTV surveillance. We have also covered the roads adjoining the pandal,” said RD Shinde, additional commissioner of police, central region.
In a recently held meeting with police officials, Datta Padsalgikar, commissioner, Mumbai Police, reviewed the preparation for Ganeshotsav this year.
“More CCTV cameras will be installed to cover a wider area. The police and the organisers will monitor the CCTVs in the control room to watch for anything suspicious,” said Shinde.
Bags will be scanned at entry points and sniffer dogs will be pressed into service, said Shinde.
“Devotees will be asked to stay alert and inform the police or the control room in case they notice any suspicious activity. Besides, mandal volunteers will be trained on security and crowd management,” he said.
The police said that devotees will be asked to avoid carrying valuables, including jewellery and mobile phones, during darshan. Also, parents will be asked to pay special attention to their children so that they do not wander and get lost in the crowd.
According to a police source, often conflicts take place among devotees as some try to jump the queue.
“Devotees will be asked to take stock of the number of people at the venue before planning their visit,” said Shinde.
Among other security measures, the police also will scan the immersion route and deploy sufficient personnel to ensure there is no untoward incident. Several NSS and NCC volunteers will be deployed across the city to assist the police. Contingents of Quick Response Teams, Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and additional forces of the State Reserve Police Force will also be deployed.