Stingrays found at Girgaum Chowpatty, devotees warned ahead of Ganesh festival

  • Badri Chatterjee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Sep 15, 2015 23:45 IST

Devotees planning to immerse their Ganesh idols at Girgaum Chowpatty need to be careful of stingrays.

Officials of the fisheries department have found the presence of stingrays in a survey of the waters on September 11 and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been advised to warn the public about injuries caused by the fish.

Four trials were done at different spots at Girgaum using fishnets, added the officials, who conducted a similar survey last year.

“While at some spots we found one or two stingrays, at others there were almost 15 as it is the breeding season. There were no signs of jellyfish,” said Yuvaraj Chougule, assistant commissioner, department of fisheries.

Stingrays possess poisonous barbs, which upon contact can cause injuries.

In 2013, 70 devotees needed medical attention during immersions at Girgaum Chowpatty after being stung by the fish.

Chougule said the report submitted to BMC highlights practices to be adopted by devotees. “People should be fully clothes while entering the sea and wear gumboots,” he added.

BMC officials said that warning-boards, posters and banners, informing devotees about the dangers during immersions, would be put up at the beach.

“As soon as we receive the recommendations of the fisheries department, we will take up the matter,” said Anand Waghralkar, deputy municipal commissioner, zone II, BMC. “Medical staff with ambulances and doctors will be on standby,” he added. Lifeguards have been briefed.

Dr Ananthrao Bajam, BMC health officer, D ward said five private and BMC-run ambulances would be stationed at Girgaum Chowpatty. “Painkillers, ointments and steroids would all be in place,” he added.

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