The police will install close circuit television (CCTV) cameras on the pandal of Lalbaugcha Raja – Mumbai’s most famous Ganesh idol – and along its visarjan (immersion) route, to tackle incidents of harassment and theft.
Cameras have already been set up along 90% of the route, according to a senior police official.
While the official refused to reveal the exact number that will be installed, he said they would be in addition to the 218 CCTV cameras that already dot Mumbai.
Lalbaugcha Raja’s route starts at Parel and ends at Girgaum Chowpatty via Sane Guruji Marg, NM Joshi Marg and SVP Road.
The police have been issuing safety guidelines for Ganesh mandals – and specific ones for Lalbaugcha Raja – for years.
Installing CCTV cameras along the visarjan route is the first concrete step towards deterring petty thieves and perverts who take advantage of the large crowd to pick pockets or sexually harass women.
In 2013, constable Kavita Palekar was manhandled inside the mandal.
According to the traffic police department, there will be at least 7,000 public Ganpatis across the city this year, apart from 1.23 lakh household Ganpati idols.
Mumbai has 88 immersion points, of which Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu beach, Madh-Marve beach, Versova beach and Dadar Chowpatty are the most popular.
The police will shut down 49 roads to facilitate immersion, while 55 roads will be made one-way.
Heavy vehicles will be banned from 18 roads, while 99 roads will be made no-parking zones.
These restrictions will apply on five days – September 17, 18, 21, 23 and 27.
“We have created five temporary control rooms for foolproof co-ordination,” said Milind Bharambe, joint commissioner of police, traffic.
There will be lifeguards to assist the traffic department during the immersions,” Bharambe added.
The current strength of the traffic police is 3,410.
Several groups such as the National Service Scheme and National Cadet Corps, along with NGOs, will help the traffic police co-ordinate traffic flow and reduce jams by making about 10,000 volunteers available.