Ganesh Chaturthi: 'Mumbaikars celebrate at mandals, less at home'
Official data reveals 10,476 fewer idols were immersed in the city this year as compared to last year; civic body cites torrential rains and population shift as possible reasons for the dip
The number of Ganpati idols immersed this year has revealed a dip in the overall figure compared to last year and also how there has been a consistent drop in the numbers over the past five years. According to data provided by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), this year most people preferred to celebrate the festival at sarvajanik mandals instead of bringing Bappa home. Also, Ganpati idols brought in for one-and-a-half-day celebrations saw the highest dip in numbers. Even though the BMC has not sighted the exact reasons for the dip, experts believe recession, shift of population towards the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and heavy rain might be the ones.
Members of Purva Mogra Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (Andhericha Maharaja) carry the idol at Andheri East. Pic/ Ashish Rane
Every year BMC sets up immersions spots at beaches, ponds and artificial lakes, and also keeps a track of the number of idols immersed in them. A civic official said, "Keeping a count of the idols helps us in making arrangements for the immersion points. Even though the figures are not completely accurate, we still get an idea of the trend." He added that this year the trend of worshipping metal idols and immersing the clay ones at home gained prominence.
Devotees on their way to bid one final goodbye to Lord Ganesha at the Girgaum Chowpatty. Pic/ Shadab Khan
According to data collected this year, 12,033 sarvjanik and 1,79,062 household Ganpati idols were immersed in natural as well as artificial ponds and beaches. Of all the household idols, 61,729 were one-and-a-half-day ones. Last year the number for this was 67,371. However, the overall number of household idols have reduced by 10,005 from last year's 1,89,067 to 1,79,062 this time. Even the same trend was witnessed in case of sarvajanik idols. The number has reduced to 12,003 from last year's 12,504.
A team of Mumbai police manages the crowd as Lalbaugcha Raja passes the weak Chinchpokli rail overbridge. Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar
Naresh Dahibavkar, president of Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, said, "Many buildings in South Mumbai are still in the development stage, so the number of sarvajanik and household idols have reduced. Many have also shifted beyond Dahisar and Mulund."
Dip over five years
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