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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Mumbai sees 21% more Ganesh idol immersions than last year

Given the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar had appealed to the citizens to celebrate the festival in a restricted and symbolic manner.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
Updated: September 21, 2021 8:59:16 am
Volunteers immerse an idol of Lord Ganesha at Girgaon Chowpattyin in Mumbai on Thursday. (Photo: PTI)

The number of immersions of Ganesh idols across Mumbai has gone up by 21 per cent compared to last year, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) figures showed.

A total of 1.64 lakh immersions were recorded over the 10-day festival, while last year 1.35 lakh immersions were reported at the natural water bodies and artificial lakes.

Given the increase in Covid-19 cases, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar had appealed to citizens to celebrate the festival in a restricted and symbolic manner. The civic body had urged citizens to avoid visiting the seashore for idol immersion. Civic officials had said that residents should use the nearest artificial ponds for visarjan.

Of the total, the highest immersion of 66,299 idols took place on the 5th day of Ganeshotsav. A total of 79,129 idols were immersed in artificial lakes, a slight increase from 70,233 last year. Of the 1.96 lakh idol immersions in 2019, 33,925 idols were in artificial lakes.

This year, visiting pandals was also banned owing to Covid-related restrictions. Mumbai Police had issued an order stating that assembly of more than five people will not be allowed in any public place, including pandals, during festival days and an FIR would be registered under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code for violations.

However, despite the order, many people gathered at Girgaon Chowpatty on Sunday afternoon for the Lalabaug cha Raja immersion. The visarjan procession began at 10.30 am Sunday and was completed by 1 pm, unlike the 14-hour yatra in previous years.

“We followed the same route but finished sooner since large processions are banned. A live stream of the procession was arranged so that people could watch it from their homes,” Balasaheb Kamble, president of the mandal, said.

In the 10 days, BMC collected 2,65,279 kg of Nirmalya (floral offerings). As many as 338 Nirmalya Kalash (containers) were set up across the city near natural water bodies and artificial lakes. The highest amount of Nirmalya was collected on the fifth day of visarjan at 60,900 kg. BMC said that the Nirmalya will be converted into manure at 38 units set up in the city.

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