Lakhs bid adieu to Ganesha

Melange of emotions

The immersion that ended the 12-day revelry got off to a peaceful start in the morning with many hand-held idols being taken in processions to sites including the main venue Girgaum Chowpatty, Dadar Chowpatty, Juhu Beach, Versova Beach, Marve Beach, Manori Beach, Madh Island, Gorai beach, the Mithi River and its branches, and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. By evening, an estimated 1,50,000 huge and medium-sized Ganesh idols were taken out for immersion from homes and major mandals, attracting over six million people.

The idols were also immersed into creeks, lakes and artificially-created sites dotting the city and suburbs. As many as 27 sites were located along the seashore, posing a huge security challenge. The Mumbai police, the state reserve police, the Quick Response Team, the Navy and the Coast Guard provided aerial, sea and land security cover during the event.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had arranged for 6,000 volunteers, 500 lifeguards, 59 motorboats, over 60 first-aid stations and ambulances besides 15 mobile toilets at all the sites. Elaborate traffic arrangements were also made. The parking of four-wheelers was banned on all immersion routes.

The scene on the roads in Maharashtra’s cultural capital, Pune, was more or less similar. The immersion got off to a enthusiastic start as mandal workers and artists put up a good show of dance and music.  People thronged Laxmi Road, the main immersion route, to watch the processions, which started from Mahtma Phule market at 10:30 am.

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