BMC to allow immersion of Ganesha idols at Gateway of India jetty
Civic officials said that there was a requirement of creating an immersion spot at the end of south Mumbai since there are no nearby immersion spots in that area, the closest one being at Girgaum Chowpatty
Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to make arrangements for the immersion of Ganesha idols at the Gateway of India jetty on September 4 and September 9, which is the fifth and the final day of Ganeshotsav.
Idol immersion at the Gateway jetty was banned in 2019 by the Bombay Port Trust (BPT) after an accident in 2018, wherein a boat belonging to the BPT was damaged during the immersion. Before that, immersion of household idols that have a maximum height of four feet was immersed at this spot since the BPT had put a limit on the height of the idols.
Civic officials said that there was a requirement of creating an immersion spot at the end of south Mumbai since there are no nearby immersion spots in that area, the closest one being at Girgaum Chowpatty.
The BMC officials said that this year, there is no limitation on the height of the idols and Ganesh idols having a maximum height of 35 feet will be allowed for immersion at the Gateway of India jetty.
“There was a requirement of having a proper immersion site in south Mumbai since the number of pandals has increased now. The nearest beach is at Girgaum Chowpatty, however Mumbaikars living in Colaba and Nariman Point find it difficult to travel there since the beach remains crowded on immersion days and there are also traffic snarls,” said Shivadas Gurav, assistant municipal commissioner of A-ward, under whose jurisdiction the Gateway of India falls.
“Till last year, the maximum height of Ganesh idols in our jurisdiction was around 12-15 feet. However, this time some idols are as tall as 35-40 feet. We will be making special arrangements in Gateway so that this idol can directly get immersed over here. Before that only household idols would come here for immersion that was very small in size,” Gurav said.
The BMC had written to the BMC in the last week of July seeking permission for the same issue. Following which, Rahul Narwekar who is the speaker in the legislative assembly and MLA from Colaba held a meeting of BMC officials and the BPT administration on the issue, following which the permission was initiated on September 1.
The BPT in its permission letter said that immersion will be allowed at Jetty number 3 since the depth of water is around two metres over there.
“The BMC should ensure clearing of floating debris, submerged material and wooden frames daily and dredging and surveying should also be done immediately after immersion,” the BPT said in its letter.
“The BMC should ensure that there is no damage to any infrastructure at the jetty as well as the structural integrity of the spot needs to be maintained. The BMC also needs to manage the schedule of immersion on the day of immersions,” the letter furthermore added.
Gurav said that the BMC will set up automated cranes and makeshift ramps to ensure a smooth immersion process.
Harshita Narwekar, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator from South Mumbai said that till now, the residents were mostly dependent on the artificial ponds that were set up by the BMC for idol immersion.
“In 2018, there was an accident in which a boat belonging to the BPT, was damaged and after that immersion was stalled over here. But it’s a welcome move that BMC has sought permission for allowing immersion this year and the same was allowed by the BPT. This will ease a lot of burden from the shoulders of residents and organisers since there is no proper water body in this area,” said Narwekar.