The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had suggested that devotees wear gumboots while immersing Ganpati idols, so as to avoid getting bitten by stingray and jellyfish. However, devotees and mandal organisers have not taken too kindly to it. Now the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS) has stepped in with their suggestions.

The Samiti has suggested roping in some fishermen to use fishing nets to remove the fish from the sea that would be harmful to the devotees. They have put forward the request to BMC to mull it over before the 10th day immersion. They have also requested that the BMC should take other measures like using boats that are lying idle with the disaster team. The Samiti is of the opinion that the gumboots are not going be helpful as many devotees would hesitate in following these orders.

The famous mandals of the city are not opting to wear gumboots in the sea while immersion. The idols in big mandals like the Lalbaugcha Raja, Ganesh Gully Ganpati, Chinchpoklicha Chintamani, Khetwadi lane Ganpati idols, Chandanwadi ganpati and some others are immersed at Girgaum. They weigh approximately one to two tonnes (including the trolley). The BMC had also declared that they will not allow the devotees to immerse the idols, and instead ask the lifeguards and fisherfolk to immerse them. The mandals claim that this is not possible due to the weight of the idols.

The Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, Ganesh Gully, Secretary, Swapnil Parab, said, “It is not possible for us to ask someone else to immerse our idol which weighs two tonnes. We believe in not wearing footwear and touching the Lord. So, we will wear full clothes and also apply oil to our legs and hands to prevent the stingray and jellyfish from attacking us.”