Police beefs up security during Ganpati visarjan

Amidst concerns raised by the recent low-intensity blast in the city, Pune police is confident it has taken adequate steps to ensure the safety of devotees

While the city authorities have recently received considerable flak for their failure to meet deadlines in their efforts to beef up security ahead of Ganpati visarjan, Pune police is confident that they have put adequate measures in place for the safety of devotees.

Pune Police
Eyes in the sky: Apart from CCTV cameras, the police will monitor the city from watchtowers, using binoculars.

With the recent low-intensity blast in July occurring near the Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati temple, the city police have been on their toes, in an attempt to ensure there is no lapse in security for the lakhs of devotees who will take to the streets with their bappas for immersion on Monday.

mid-day’s story on September 5
Mid-day’s story on September 5

Strength in numbers
As many as 11,000 police officers will be deputed across the city to strengthen security on the final day of Ganeshotsav. Of these, 14 DCPs, 39 ACPs, 48 police inspectors and 2,000 APIs and PSIs will be posted at all major immersion routes, such as Tilak road, Laxmi road and Tilak chowk near Alka Talkies. Apart from them, 350 personnel from the Home Guard, Reserve Police Force, Quick reaction team (QRT), Riot Control Force, Bomb Detection and Disposal Solution (BDDS) squad will also be in place. Senior officers, including Commissioner Satish Mathur will monitor all activity at a special control room installed at the Faraskhana police station.

A special control room
A special control room has been set up at the Faraskhana police station. file pics

Last week, the state and the city police had run into criticism for delay in installing CCTV cameras along crucial junctions and roads to help them monitor and secure the areas (mid-day’s report on September 5, ‘Visarjan to take place in shadow of terror?’).

However, Joint Police Commissioner (law and order), Sanjay Kumar told mid-day that the force is prepared for visarjan with CCTV cameras already installed on the routes, although police officials declined to mention the number of cameras present and active in the area.

Apart from cameras, watch towers have been set up for the police to keep an eye on people, and special help posts have also been installed in six major sectors. The help posts will each have one PI and six to eight constables whom citizens can approach with any complaints or fears they have.

“There will be a control room in place from where we will monitor activity, besides this we will also have flying squads in place, as well as CCTVs and watch towers for security,” said Kumar, adding further, “we also have helpline numbers for citizens wherein they can call during any kind of emergency, and we will have ambulances at exit points on immersion routes for medical emergencies. There will be tight security at all the 16 immersion points.”

Women’s security
The Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone 1), M B Tambde emphasised on women’s safety during visarjan, for which a special team of female officers has been arranged. The officers will patrol immersion routes to prevent any unsavoury incidents from occurring.

“We have a special team of female officers who will ensure safety for women and avert any possibilities of eve teasing, molestation etc. We have a special medical camp set up at Faraskhana police station as well, to provide primary medical care,” he said.

“The police control is already in place, where we have installed a central monitoring system so that all the officers can keep a close eye on the immersion proceedings,” Tambde added.

The police arrangements will come into force from 12 pm onwards on Monday, and will stay in place until the end of visarjan.

The number of police officers who will be posted on major immersion routes in the city

Emergency helpline numbers

>> Emergency number: 020-25506800/1/2/3/4
>> Police control room: 100, 020- 26126296, 26122880, 26208250
>> Fire brigade: 101
>> Fire brigade chief: 9689931991
>> Ambulance: 108
>> Faraskhana police station: 020-24452250/ 26208438

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