Heavy police presence, doctors welcome devotees at Mumbai's beaches for Ganpati Visarjan

Sep 14, 2013, 06:17 IST | Iram Siddique and Neha LM Tripathi

Following the stingray attack, additional security measures and medical assistance were provided at Juhu, Versova and Girgaum Chowpatty

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which was spurred into action after the stingray attack at Girgaum Chowpatty in which 76 people were injured on Tuesday evening, stuck to their word. The officials left no stone unturned to ensure that the fifth day of immersions went off smoothly without a hitch. Special arrangements ranging from more doctors and cops at immersion points, to additional barges were put into place at three spots in the city Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu and Versova beach.

Fearing another stingray attack, devotees hired boats at Girgaum Chowpatty to immerse the deity on the fifth day. Pic/Shadab khan

Girgaum Chowpatty
The number of people entering the waters at Chowpatty was far lesser than that on the first day of visarjan. Two brand new barges were also introduced at the spot so as to prevent people from entering the water and being bitten or preventing any chances of drowning.

Additionally, the volunteers, who were more in number, had worn gumboots to keep their feet safe and also used handcarts for the visarjans. Pradeep Patade, a lifeguard at Chowpatty said, “We also had a heavier presence of doctors at the beach in case of any untoward incident.” Moreover, at various spots, huge posters warning people of jellyfish and stingrays had been put up so as to raise awareness among people.

Versova beach
At Versova beach, the scene was no different. A heavy presence of cops, doctors and lifeguards were seen at the beach. Doctors from BMC-run Cooper Hospital were present at the beach to provide residents with first aid and medical help. Banners warning people of the dangers of wading into the waters were also put up at various spots.

A BMC official speaking to MiD DAY, said, “Every 15 minutes the fishermen present at the spot are using the nets to check if there are any stingrays or jelly fish in the water. If any fish is found then we will catch it and release them later in the deep sea.”

Heavy police presence was also observed at the immersion site. Almost 250 cops were present at the beach along with an ambulance and four garbage vans. Six CCTV cameras were also installed here to survey the area. Social activist Prakash Giddwani, who has been making rounds of Versova beach, said, “The police and the BMC coordinated well and ensured the safety of the locals after the Girgaum incident.”

Juhu Beach
At Juhu beach, officials were cautioning people from letting their children enter the water. Devotees were also asked to wear their shoes while immersing their idols. As safety precautions, 16 CCTV cameras, five fire brigades and two ambulances were present. Additionally, 179 spotlights and four searchlights had been installed.

Number of idols immersed at Juhu beach till 7.30 pm

Number of idols immersed at Versova beach till 6.30 pm 

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