Survey of a few important spots in the city by mid-day reveals major safety flaws such as absence of life jackets and safety ropes, among others
It appears that the civic administration has not learned its lesson from the September 2 incident which saw seven people drowning in Katraj and the Indrayani river.
Sangam bridge. Pic/Dattatray Adhalge
A survey of a few immersion ghats in the city, just a day prior to today’s visarjan, revealed that most of them lacked measures, including safety ropes along the riverbanks.
Sangam Bridge in Shivaji Nagar
The river under the bridge draws huge crowds from Camp and Shivaji Nagar on days of visarjan. A security check at the visarjan ghat revealed that there were only three life jackets and three lives buoys.
“We have cordoned off the riverbank under Lakdi Bridge and Natraj visarjan ghat in Deccan Gymkhana with ropes, considering that the major population of the city and most of the Ganpati mandals visit these two spots for visarjan. Beefing up security at other ghats is the responsibility of respective ward offices,” said Chief Fire Officer Prashant Ranpise.
He added that the department lacked sufficient quantity of ropes and wherever they had installed safety ropes the fire brigade had gone out of its way to do the needful.
“Yesterday morning we installed safety ropes at visarjan ghats in Vadgaon Dhayri. We can’t keep providing safety ropes to each and every immersion spot in the city,” Ranpise said.
Bhide Bridge in Deccan Gymkhana
Congregation of devotees for visarjan along the river under the bridge, which lacks a safety wall, is a matter of major concern for the fire brigade department.
The vast riverbank and the bridge without safety barricades increase the risk of drowning. Similar security flaws were spotted at the visarjan ghat at Omkareshwar.
Due to the heavy rainfall in the catchment areas, the state irrigation department (Pune) is likely to release about 5,000 cusecs of water from Khadakwasla dam on Sunday midnight. The civic officials said that the four dams — Khadakwasla, Temghar, Warasgaon and Panshet — that provide water to the district were filled to their respective capacities. Appealing to the citizens to take precautions during visarjan, the PMC spokesperson Sanjay More said ghats under SM Joshi Bridge, Sambhaji Bridge, Baba Bhide Bridge, Omkareshwar and Deccan Gymkhana would be under water once the water is released from the dam.