Ganesh Chaturthi: More artificial ponds this year for immersions | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Ganesh Chaturthi: More artificial ponds this year for immersions

In order to encourage more people to use artificial ponds for immersions, the civic body will be increasing their number and beautifying them for the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi this year.

mumbai Updated: Sep 01, 2011 00:53 IST

In order to encourage more people to use artificial ponds for immersions, the civic body will be increasing their number and beautifying them for the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi this year.

The Brihanmumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has increased the number of spots from19 to 22 this year. All ward offices have been told to arrange for flower arrangements, rangolis, lighting and audio facilities at the artificial lakes. Platforms to conduct the last pooja before visarjan would also be provided.

According to statistics available with the civic body, last year, 13,860 idols were immersed in artificial ponds of which 300 were sarvajanik idols while 13566 were household idols.

"The idea is to make people aware that there are artificial ponds created for them to use and that there are facilities to perform the rituals before immersions," said deputy municipal commissioner, Kishor Kshirsagar.

Earlier there was resistance from the locals regarding using these ponds because they did not know what the BMC would do of the clay left after the idol dissolved in the ponds.

"After a lot of people told us about their apprehensions, we started using the clay for making bricks and donating the same bricks in temples that were being constructed.With this the doubts that people had were all put to rest,"said a civic official.

The BMC borrowed the idea of artificial ponds for immersions from the Thane municipal corporation, which started the practice in 2006.Two of the biggest and most popular artificial lakes are the ones near the mayor’s bungalow in Shivaji Park and Swapna Nagari in Mulund.

The BMC will also be providing an additional 248 lifeguards at major visarjan spots like Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu Chowpatty and Dadar.

Municipal commissione, Subodh Kumar on Tuesday said that a total of 1554 municipal staff would be mobilised during the entire 11-day long festival.

The number of public Ganpati mandals is set to increase from 10,354 last year to over 12,000 this year.

HT, traffic cops join hands for safe festival

The Hindustan Times(HT) has tied up with the Mumbai traffic police as part of a safety campaign in a bid to ensure that 10-day Ganeshotsav festival is carried out smoothly throughout the city.

Hoardings and barricades of Hindustan Times at various locations in the city including Lalbaugcha Raja, Opera House, Girgam, Shivaji Park, Juhu (near Sukh Sagar), Century Bazar (Worli) and Bandra linking road, will carry safety messages for motorists and devotees against issues such as drink driving, excessive honking, switching off mobile phones while driving and avoiding touching unclaimed bags.

Safety messages will also be put on few of the watchtowers of the traffic police across the city.

HT's radio channel Fever 104 would be giving continuous instructions to Mumbaiites. In case of an emergency, one can get in touch with the traffic police control room on 24937755, 24937746, 24937747 or 24940303, or the police main control room on 100.

Nandkumar Chougale, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) said: "People should be watchful and act as eyes and ears of the police department. They should inform the police immediately in case of any suspicious activity. Variable Message Signboards (VMS) will help people avoid congested roads. Commuters will have to follow the instructions and keep a close tab on the messages sent by the traffic police."