The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, police, Coast Guard and Navy have made elaborate arrangements to ensure smooth and safe immersion of Lord Ganesh idols tomorrow on the occasion of ‘Anant Chaturdashi’. “Being the sea search and rescue coordinator, Coast Guard will be carrying out close to coast patrol by two each ships, hovercrafts and helicopters,” a Defence spokesperson said here today. “Indian Navy diving teams are deployed at Girgaon Chowpatty. Few diving teams are kept at standby in Dockyard. Helicopters (Seaking and Chetak) will be on standby for any search and rescue requirements at INS Shikra,” he said. “A total of 32 artificial ponds have been created for immersion while people can also immerse the idols of the elephant-headed deity in natural ponds across the city,” a BMC official said.
“Life guards are being deployed, and first aid centres have also been set up in the city. Sixty ambulances have been kept ready,” the official said.
As many as 9,000 BMC employees will be working to oversee the immersion. This number is around 2000 more than the number of civic staff deployed on the occasion last year, he said. Prime locations for immersion are Girgaon Chowpatty, Juhu beach, Powai lake, Dadar Chowpatty, Madh jetty and Marve in Malad. BMC has appealed devotees to inform the civic authorities as and when they need any assistance or if they are stung by jelly fish or sting ray. The immersion process will begin early tomorrow amid fanfare and tight security.
Police have beefed up security and companies of the State Reserve Police Force are also being deployed. Cranes, watchtowers, drones, CCTVs and floodlights have been arranged to keep a watch on every movement of the revellers and devotees, a police official said. Rashmi Karandikar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) said police personnel will be deployed at all places where the Ganesh idols will be immersed. “Police personnel will also be deployed on the routs leading to the immersion places,” said Karandikar. She also said Bomb Disposal Squads and Dog Squads will be deployed on specific routes through which procession of “famous Ganesh idols will proceed”.
According to the official, atleast 12 companies of SRPF, Riot Control Police, Quick Response Teams, Local Arms Police will also aid the Mumbai Police. Around 3,600 traffic police and 500 traffic warden will also assist police for managing traffic, she said, adding 53 roads in the megapolis have been closed.