The city police will be assisted by a separate force of about 1 lakh volunteers for maintaining law and order this Ganeshotsav, which begins from September 9.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, who held a review meeting with the Brihanmumbai Sarvaj anik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS) on Monday evening, agreed to their proposal of setting up of a parallel force of ten volunteers from each mandal to assist the police on security concerns during the festival.
Police stations will now provide volunteers from every mandal within their jurisdiction basic training in security, crowd control and steps to take in case of an emergency.
“The CM has also asked the BMC to ensure that close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are put up at all visarjan spots,” said Naseem Khan, guardian minister for the suburbs, who attended the meeting.
The government has also directed all mandals to put up advisory posters with pointers on how to deal with emergency situations or terror attacks during the ten-day festival.
The Samiti discussed security as well as other issues at the meeting that was also attended by home minister RR Patil, deputy CM Ajit Pawar, chief secretary JK Banthia, mayor Sunil Prabhu, police commissioner Satyapal Singh besides other senior officials at the state government guest house at Malbar Hill.
“We had raised the concern that after the civic body’s work of filling potholes, many roads have now become uneven, which will lead to huge delays during Ganpati visarjan,” said Naresh Dahibawkar, president, BSGSS.
“We want the roads be fixed in time to avoid chaos during visarjan.” Chavan has issued directions to the civic body asking them to implement the necessary changes.
The Samiti also requested permission for the use of traditional instruments post midnight on the day of the visarjan.
“The state government had allowed us to use traditional instruments after midnight last year, but since it did not bring out a government resolution, the police informed us that they will not allow it this year,” said Dahibawkar.
“The CM said that requests made by the mandals will be considered by the authorities and that noise norms may be relaxed till midnight as long as they are within the prescribed decibel levels laid down in the law,” said a press release from the CM’s office.