Evening low tide may dampen Ganpati visarjan plans

Sep 07, 2014, 05:36 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

With a high tide expected only at 11 pm, the fall in sea levels is expected to affect households' and mandals' immersion processions; BMC spends Rs 13 crore on arrangements

Ganesh visarjan is only a day away and if you thought you can look forward to a hassle-free festival, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) spending about Rs 13 crore on arrangements for the day, think again.

BMC worker
BMC workers prepare for the final day of  Ganapati immersion at Girgaum chowpatty yesterday. Photo/Atul Kamble

Idol immersions are expected to get delayed this year due to a low tide at 5.30 pm. With a high tide expected only at 11 pm, the day’s celebrations might get affected as most households and small Ganpati mandals in the city proceed to immerse their idols after 4 pm.

Following the stingray attacks last year, the BMC displayed boards cautioning people against going towards the deeper end of the sea. However, the low tide may now force revellers to ignore these warnings.

Preparing for processions
The BMC installed about 1,530 flood lights and 64 watchtowers to keep an eye on devotees. In addition to this, they also set up about 278 close circuit cameras, following the advice of the police, and about 67 first aid centres and ambulances to tackle emergencies. The lack of toilets, which was a major issue faced by devotees last year, was taken up by the Samanvay Samiti of the Ganesh mandals, which requested the BMC to arrange additional toilet facilities. The civic body installed 77 temporary toilets at various points in the city, including routes taken by devotees proceeding for idol immersion.

Officials speak
Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Anand Wagralkar, who will overlook immersion processions in the city, said, “Only the low tide might make the process slow as we have taken all possible precautions, including more CCTVs, 1,530 flood lights and so on. There are about 71 natural spots for immersion in city, which mandals can share.” The President of the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, Naresh Dahibavkar, said, “We wanted the potholes to be covered as they will delay the processions. Now with low tide, the process will get further delayed. However, the increase in the number of mobile toilets is welcome.”

BMC arrangements

Number of idols expected to be immersed on September 8: 39,000 to 40,000
Number of BMC employees: 7,000
Number of BMC officers: 1,000

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