A day after a drunk man caused a furore over his purported plans relating to Dagdusheth Ganpati temple,it was expected that order,discipline and a stringent security system would be in place on premises of the citys famous temple.
Instead,on a Sunday,when devotees come in droves,confusion reigned over carrying bags,sacks,umbrellas and even coconuts to the temple premises. Compounding the problem for the devotees was civic employees taking their Sunday off,and leaving a public urinal,located on the temple premises,dirty and stinking.
At the point where the queue begins for getting inside the temple,police and private security personnel had heated arguments with devotees who tried to enter the premises carrying their bags,umbrellas and other paraphernalia.
Women devotees,who were stopped at the entry point raised the decibel level,insisting that they cant leave their bags outside with nobody to take care of them. Where should I keep my bag? Show me a place to keep it safe… said Darshna Kaur,a devotee. However,the security personnel point blank told her that she wont be allowed to carry her bag. The woman,who kept her bag with an acquaintance,was then allowed entry.
Young girls,each one of whom carried shoulder bags,had a tough time too. Many of them sat outside the temple after an argument with the security personnel. Broken chairs on the temple premises made matters worse leaving no other else to sit.
The police and security personnel said they have been strictly told to not allow bags,sacks,umbrellas and cellphones inside the temple. However,it was seen that some security personnel did not mind umbrellas and jackets making their way inside. Clearly,it seemed security personnel had not been briefed properly.
Throughout the day on Saturday,coconuts offered to the Lord by the devotees were banned. However,on Sunday they were allowed,but some devotees were not aware of it.
Without coconut offering,how can the devotee offer his prayer to the Lord? But because of the police directive,we had to ban coconuts on Saturday. Today however,we resumed it,we do not know whether coconuts would be banned again, said Ashok Godse,president of the Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Trust. As for the ban on bags and sacks,Godse said devotees will have to bear with them till some kind of arrangement is made.
Yet another headache for the devotees was the public urinal located on the temple premises,located where devotees enter the temple. The urinal was stinking badly and the stink pervaded the temple precincts too. A couple of foreigners,like the locals,murmured words of inconvenience about the stink,held their nose as the began their march inside. Since the civic employees were on a holiday,the urinal had remained uncleaned.
According to temple workers,the temple stinks badly even on regular days. Godse said they have requested the PMC to remove it,but the civic body has refused to do so.
When contacted,Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak said he would send his staff to clean the urinal. In the same breath,he said the temple trust should provide their men to keep the urinal clean. Even otherwise,the police have asked us to remove it,we will soon take a decision, he said.
Meanwhile,Mayor Vaishali Bankar said the PMC has bought the latest advanced equipment to keep urinals at prominent locations clean. The equipment will be employed at Dagdusheth temple as well, Bankar said,adding that a meeting would be held to decide on removal of the urinal.
Like they do everyday,several devotees stood right on the road,praying to the Lord and causing traffic jams with nobody stopping them from standing in the way. Their number,however,was bigger than on other days.
Cars and motorcyclists too took a small halt before the temple and sped off. The mayor said she had performed a special aarti on Saturday evening after the bomb scare triggered by the drunk man in the morning.