Cooperate with the police, ensure women’s safety and don’t allow use of contraband – these are some of the guidelines issued by the umbrella body of Ganesh mandals for the immersions on Thursday.
The Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS) held a meeting on Tuesday with heads of mandals and briefed them on the steps to be taken to keep the festivities peaceful. “After speaking with the police, the civic body, lifeguards and others involved in immersions, we came up with a list of guidelines for all mandals. If we receive complaints from any governing bodies, strict action will be taken against the mandal,” said Naresh Dahibhavkar, president, BSGSS.
“Mandals have been told that use of alcohol and drugs during processions is banned. If workers from any mandal are found using any such substance, they will not be allowed to celebrate the festival next year,” said Dahibhavkar.
He said the guidelines emphasise on adhering to noise pollution rules, as stated in a recent Bombay high court order. “We will make sure there is noise rule violation this year. We have told them to avoid the use of loudspeakers, DJ sets, and use drums and dhols instead,” said Dahibhavkar, adding that the mandals have also been told to avoid dance processions.
Members of Lalbaugcha Raja mandal said they have been asked to keep one lane free for traffic. “We will abide by all guidelines. Mandal members have been sensitised about it and we will communicate via walkie-talkies during the procession,” said Balasaheb Kamble, president, Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal.
Dahibhavkar said the police personnel asked the umbrella body to submit a list of trucks that will carry idols during immersions and details of the drivers. “After the attack in France earlier this year, the police personnel have stepped up security for citizens travelling by foot. We submitted the list on Wednesday,” he said.
The Central Railway (CR) will operate eight special trains on Anant Chaturdashi for devotees returning home later after the immersion. Two services will run between CST and Kalyan, two between CST and Thane and the remaining on the harbour line.