Mumbai, Sep 28 - With around 90,000 small and big Ganesh idols expected to be immersed at 84 spots in the city Saturday, the last day of the 10-day festival, Mumbai is gearing up to bid adieu to the popular elephant-headed god.
While the city police have taken all necessary precautions, the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti -, the umbrella organisation of all public Ganesh pujas in the city, has also swung into action to help smoothen the immersion processions.
Naresh Dahibhavkar, BSGSS chairman, said that there were around 8,500 idols from sarvajanik mandals - that will be immersed Saturday. Around 1,800 idols were immersed on the second, fifth and seventh days of the festival.
Also, there were 1,65,000 small idols worshipped in Mumbai homes during the festival. Over 50 percent of these will be immersed Saturday, he said.
Dahibhavkar said the BSGSS has deployed around 350 lifeguards at all big immersion spots.
Mumbai's civic body has also deployed 250 lifeguards at all 65 immersion spots. There are around 20 other immersion spots, which are artificial and pose less risk, he added.
As many as 37 watch towers have been erected at the major immersion spots with the main control room at Girgaum Chowpatty in south Mumbai, which is also a major immersion spot, a police official said Friday.
State Home Minister R.R. Patil Monday inaugurated the control room at Girgaum Chowpatty. It will be used for bandobast co-ordination, CCTV operations, and monitoring those who might lose their way in the crowds. Besides, it will coordinate with other agencies, Sadanand Date, joint commissioner of police -, told reporters here.
At the onset of the festival Sep 19, as many as 19,000 policemen were deployed throughout the city to monitor the celebrations. However, with the immersions being a much bigger affair, the security plan has been enhanced and around 25,000 policemen put on guard.
Two companies of the Rapid Action Force, one company of the Border Security Force and four companies of the State Reserve Police Force are being deployed across the city on the immersion day.
The traffic police have planned to close 37 roads from 12 noon Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday. Vehicular traffic will be diverted through alternative routes to avoid traffic blockages.
Another 50 roads will be made one-way and parking will not be allowed on 61 roads, while heavy vehicles will be banned on 13 roads across the city, a traffic official said.