The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is expecting more than 50,000 Ganpati idols to be immersed on the final visarjan day on Wednesday, claimed to be ready to manage the show. The civic body also issued a high-tide warning to devotees and has asked them not to venture out too deep into the sea. According to the BMC, the city will witness high tides of 3.96 metres, 1.06 metres and 3.87 metres at 11.38 am, 5.43 pm and 12.04 am (early Thursday) respectively.
“People should hand over the idols to volunteers and civic staff, who will immerse them in the sea with the help of floating platforms,” said Dr Kishor Kshirsagar, deputy municipal commissioner. The floating platforms have been made available by the BMC at Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu Chowpatty, Shamnagar pond, Marve beach and Sheetal pond.
The civic body has also deployed 214 lifeguards and has asked the navy to help in case of emergencies. Facilities such as mobile toilets and searchlights are being put in place for devotees’ convenience and to ensure their safety. In addition, 59 motorboats, first-aid centres, ambulances and doctors will be stationed at the major immersion spots across the city. At Powai Lake, the BMC has set up safety nets at the spot where a crocodile attack was recently reported. “Even forest department officials will be deployed near Powai Lake,” said Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya. “Help has also been sought from non-governmental organisations too.”
This year, till the seventh day of the festival, over 1.36 lakh Ganpati idols have been immersed, including over 13,000 at artificial lakes. Last year, 1.87 lakh idols were immersed with 8,200 at artificial lakes. The total number this time is expected to be 10 per cent higher. As a result, even the BMC’s budget has gone up to Rs 8 crore this year as compared to Rs 7 crore for the immersion facilities last year.