After Ganeshotsav mandals, now its time for Navratri mandals and Durga Puja pandals to beef up security at their festival venues.
At Sankalp Dandiya Navratri Utsav, the biggest crowd puller in the city during the nine-day Navratri festival, which begins on Wednesday, organisers have beefed up security and safety at its Goregaon venue.
Private security guards and additional closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at prominent spots across the ground, fearing security threats.
“The festival sees a massive turnout of people on all days. It is difficult to check each person’s identity. However, we will have entry-level security checks including metal detectors and individual frisking,” said Devendra Joshi, organiser of Sankalp Utsav.
“Policemen and vehicles will be stationed outside the main gate. The last two days will see the biggest turnout because of the extended deadlines for the use of loudspeakers,” he added.
At Kora Kendra Naidu Club in Borivli, organisers have chalked out a security plan a week in advance. “Sniffer dogs and the bomb detection squad will survey the venue half an hour before the main event commences,” said Ganesh Naidu from the Club.
“The CCTVs that have been installed at different points on the ground will have live feeds sent to the monitors stationed at the nearby Borivli police station. In case of any threat, the authorities can spring into action,” added Naidu.
The club is expecting more than 25,000 dancers everyday during the festival.
Even Durga Puja organisers are increasing security. The festival, which will begin on October 1, will see the city’s Bengali community heading to the pandals in huge numbers.
“More than five lakh devotees are expected to participate in the 76th year celebrations of our pandal. We have installed LED screens across the pandal, which will carry live footage of the event,” said Amit Chowdhary, vice-president of the Bengal Club, Shivaji Park.