Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol on Tuesday appealed to all Ganesh mandals in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad to not put up any decorations which could lead to unrest and instead focus on spreading the message of national integrity.
Mayor Vaishali Bankar had called a meeting of city police,civic administration and Ganesh mandals to make sure that the ten day Ganesh festival goes smoothly without incident. The festival starts on September 9. Pol said it citizens should be vigilant to avoid any untoward incident during the festival.
Pol said that some Ganesh mandals have raised the issue of restrictions on decorations by the police.
Earlier,MNS corporator Kishore Shinde,representing a Ganesh mandal,said it had been inappropriate for the police to have stopped them last year from decorating their pandal with images narrating a historical incident. A lot of money was spent on the decoration, he said.
Deputy police commissioner Makrand Ranade said that terrorist threats continue to be a concern. The mandals should install at least four CCTV around their pandal to keep a check on any unlawful activity. Electronic vigilance would help the police in nabbing miscreants. Music bands have also been requested to have an electronic surveillance system, he added.
Ranade said that the police have a tough time managing Ganesh mandals during the immersion procession as it goes on for hours.
To ease the situation,it has been decided that the immersion procession from Tilak road would begin at noon instead of later in the evening. Many mandals have agreed. Similarly,many Ganesh mandals coming from Kelkar Road and Kumthekar Road should also start early, he said.
Additional municipal commissioner Rajendra Jagtap said the civic administration has appealed citizens to go for sand-made idols instead of plaster of paris,as they do not dissolve in water.
PMC will continue to provide the facility of idol immersion and also will appoint lifeguards at immersion spots in Mutha river and canal, Jagtap said.
Talking about the PMC awards for mandals,NCP corporator Ravindra Malvadkar says,They are controversial because of the selection procedure. Experts from the field should be involved in selecting Ganesh mandals on their performance and discipline.