BMC's warning on final Ganpati visarjan day: Stay light, stay quiet, don't stop, don't dance
Authorities seek citizens' help to prevent disaster striking on 20 of the city's weakest bridges as mandals prepare for visarjan processions today
The BMC, traffic police and railways have urged citizens to not dance or crowd on 20 of the city's dilapidated bridges during Ganpati immersion processions today. Ganesh mandals have agreed to follow the advisory, with the all-city coordination committee, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samiti, promising to spread the message to smaller mandals.
A public service announcement listing the 20 bridges, which are currently open to traffic despite being weak, included the Milan Rail Over Bridge at Santacruz, which is just about two-years old. Authorities later told mid-day that it was mistakenly added to the list and that it is in fine condition.
A board warning devotees not to dance on the weak bridge
The remaining 19 include key bridges at Chinchpokli, Currey Road, Gokhale Road, Grant Road and Vile Parle, among others. Of these, the Chinchpokli bridge is the most used during the immersion processions, with the massive idols from Parel and Lalbaug passing it.
The advisory asks: 1. mandals to ensure there is no more than 16 tonnes of weight at any time on these bridges, 2. devotees to not crowd and cross in small groups, and 3. devotees to not use sound systems while crossing the bridges.
The BMC's notice. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The vibrations from the excessive sound could cause affect the weak bridges, said officials. The police have put up posters asking devotees to not dance or stop on these bridges.
Following an IIT-Bombay inspection report on the state of three rail bridges, – Arthur Road Bridge at Chinchpokali, Currey Road Bridge and Byculla Road Bridge (Gardens' Bridge) – the BMC had decided to install height barriers to prevent heavy vehicles above 16 tons from getting on them. But, due to the festival, the barriers were not installed.
Cops and BMC have warned devotees to go easy over the Currey Road rail over bridge
Recent months have seen several bridges in the city collapse. Sanjay Darade, chief engineer (bridges), said, "We have requested mandals to follow the advisory jointly put our in coordination with all agencies and for the safety of the citizens."
GK Gokhale Bridge, too, has been deemed too weak. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar, Satej Shinde
A few days ago, the Chinchpokli Chintamani Ganeshotsav Mandal requested those attending the idol's arrival to wait near Ganesh Talkies and not crowd on the Chinchpokli bridge. Very few people were employed to transport the idol from its Arthur Road workshop and music was started only after the bridge was crossed.
'We will be careful'
Swapnil Parab, secretary, Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal (Ganesh Galli)
'We stop our music at Lalbaug's Hiramani Market junction and then while heading towards Chinchpokli, we will first let our trolley go and will ask our volunteers and members to cross the bridge in small groups to ensure there is no overcrowding.'
Ravindra Majalkar, president, Balgopal Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal
'Currey Road has virtually been closed for Ganesh processions after the Lower Parel bridge shut down. Because we are closer to the Bharatmata junction, we don't need to take this bridge. Instead, we go via Chinchpokli bridge. We will ensure precautions are taken and instructions are followed.'
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