Cops gear up for overtime on Sunday

With Ganpati visarjan and the first day of the Bandra Fair clashing on Sunday, the police department is left with the daunting task of deploying adequate personnel to maintain law and order.

The recent high alert sounded across the city after a bomb blast ripped through the Delhi High Court, clubbed with the season's festivities, have left the police grasping at straws.

As the Bandra Fair attracts large crowds every year, the Bandra
police has deployed more officials and has also increased
the work shift to maintain law and order

This year security arrangements at the Bandra Fair has been upped owing to the terror attack in the capital, but Sunday brings added hours of duty for the police in the area, owing to visarjan also falling on the same day.

The fair, which starts on September 11, will witness a large volume of police presence during the entire eight-day duration of the event.

In addition, management of the Mount Mary's Church has gone ahead and upgraded the security by installing eight CCTV cameras at all vital points.

Parishioner Christopher D'Souza said, "We have taken steps to avoid any unwanted incidents. A large number of pilgrims visit the fair every year and their safety is our top priority. The cameras covering the church area will be monitored by the police."

The police on their part will be on the lookout for fake cops, who have been conning people in the area and making life difficult for the real men in khaki. According to police officials, the area becomes a hunting ground for thieves and pickpockets during the fair, and the fake cops are emerging to be a major problem.

Police officer Dinesh Sunare said, "Ganpati visarjan and the first day of the Bandra Fair are clashing this year, which makes our task doubly challenging. In addition to the crowd attending the fair, around 67 Ganpati mandals are expected to pass through our jurisdiction."

Full swing
The police will have to monitor the law and order situation while the Bandra Ganpatis are taken to Juhu and Mahim for immersion, and while smaller idols are immersed at Bandstand.

Inspector Samad Khan said, "We are doing our best to ensure that both the visarjan and Bandra Fair have high level security."

Preparations at the fair are in full swing with a few stalls having opened already and others under construction.
Stall owner Jude Fernandes said, "Though the city is on high alert, I don't think it will affect the inflow of crowds much. People come here because of their faith in Mother Mary."

Tanya Mendonca, another stall owner said, "Our stalls are in the process of being erected and large numbers of worshippers attend the novenas."

1 lakh
The number of devotees who visit Mount Mary Church on weekdays during the feast

7 lakh

The number of devotees expected to visit Mount Mary Church on weekends during the feast

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