More than 38,000 idols of Lord Ganesh were immersed in various water bodies across Mumbai till Saturday morning following the conclusion of the 10-day festival a day ago, while immersion processions are still on at some places in the city, an official said. The idols were immersed in the Arabian sea off Girgaon Chowpatty (beach) in south Mumbai, in artificial ponds and some other water bodies. While Girgaon Chowpatty is one of the major spots for immersion of popular Ganesh idols like Lalbaugcha Raja, Ganesh Gully and others, idols are also immersed at other beaches across the city, including Shivaji Park, Bandra, Juhu and Malad. The immersion processions had begun on Friday morning.
The 10-day festival was celebrated with special fervour and pomp this year as COVID-19-related restrictions had played spoilsport in 2020 and 2021.
As many as 38,214 Ganesh idols were immersed in the metropolis till 9 am on Saturday. Of these, 31,259 were household idols, 6,647 ‘sarvajanik’ (those installed in public pandals), while 308 idols were of Goddess Gauri, a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said.
Of the total, 9,751 idols, including 796 ‘sarvajanik’ ones, were immersed in artificial ponds, they said. The idol of Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh, one of the biggest draws of the festival in the city, was immersed around 9.15 am, nearly 22 hours after its procession had started on Friday. Its procession reached the Girgaon Chowpatty early this morning. A huge crowd gathered at the immersion point to bid adieu to Lalbaugcha Raja. ”No untoward incident reported during immersion processions,” the BMC official said.
Another BMC official said that immersion at Girgaon Chowpatty got almost ended after the Lalbaugcha Raja, but the process is still in western suburbs and it may take a few more hours. The civic body had arranged barges and motorboats at the beaches for the immersion of tall idols in the deep waters. Several roads were closed for traffic to allow immersion processions.
More than 20,000 police personnel including 3,200 officers were on the streets of Mumbai to keep vigil. Eight companies of the State Reserve Police Force, one company of Rapid Action Force and 750 home guards too had been deployed, officials said.
The BMC had provided immersion facilities at 73 natural and 162 artificial water bodies and about 10,000 civic personnel were on duty.
The civic body had set up 188 control rooms, as many first aid centres and kept 83 ambulances ready besides deploying 786 lifeguards at various immersion points.