The 10-day Ganpati festival, held this year with much pomp and without Covid-19 restrictions after a gap of two years, drew to a close on Friday. With the festival coming to an end, more than 2,000 idols of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Gauri were immersed in various water bodies across Mumbai till 3 pm today. Processions were taken out to bid adieu to the deity amid the chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudhachya Varshi Lavkar Ya’.
Of these, 2,104 were household Ganesh idols, 42 ‘sarvajanik’ (public) idols, and 14 idols of Goddess Gauri. Of the total, 634 idols were immersed in artificial lakes created across the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation confirmed.
As per reports, the immersion processions began in the morning with a large number of people gathered on the main roads in Mumbai to give a farewell to their beloved deity. Huge number of devotees thronged to catch a glimpse of the idol of ‘Lalbaug Cha Raja’ Ganesh in central Mumbai, which is the biggest draw of the festival in Mumbai. Other major sarvajanik Ganpati idols were also taken out of the pandals in Lalbaug, Girgaon, Parel, Andheri, Chembur and other areas for immersion.
Apart from Girgaon chowpatty, the immersion of idols took place at Shivaji Park, Bandra, Juhu and Malad on a large scale. To deal with secutiy concerns, the police had deployed more than 20,000 personnel, including 3,200 officers, to keep a vigil during the immersion processions. Eight State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) companies, one Rapid Action Force (RAF) company, 750 home guards and 250 trainees.
The civic body has also arranged 45 motor boats and 39 German barges for the immersion of Ganesh idols, while 48 inspection towers have been erected and barricades have been put up at some places for safety reasons, the release said. For improved visibility at immersion points, 3,069 flood lights and 71 searchlights have been installed and 211 reception rooms created for better coordination, it added.
Meanwhile, in Pune, more than 8,000 police personnel patrolled the streets as the procession of one of the most revered Kasba Ganesh, one of the five Manache Ganpati who traditionally takes precedence, started around 10 am with traditional dhol-tashas. The processions of the other four Manache Ganpatis Jogeshwari, Guruji Talim, Tulshibaug and Kesriwada mandals also followed suit.
Deliberating on the safety measures adopted, Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta confimed that CCTVs have been installed at several spots in the city for monitoring, while many roads will have traffic restrictions and diversions. “Nearly 3,000 registered Ganesh pandals will carry out immersions. They will be allowed to play music only till midnight. All guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court will have to be followed strictly,” he said.
Ganesh Chaturthi dedicated to the elephant-headed god had begun on August 31. The idols of Lord Ganesh were installed in homes and public pandals across the state with gaiety this year after a hiatus of 2 years.
(with inputs from agencies)
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