Chants of Ganpati Bappa Moraya,Pudhachya Varshi Lavkar Ya,and dhol beats charged up the air as Puneites bid farewell to Lord Ganesh after an immersion procession that lasted 28 hours 50 minutes,the last idol being immersed at 3.20pm Sunday at Nateshwar Ghat.
No untoward incidents were reported during the procession that took an hour longer than last year’s.
The Ganesh visarjan procession started with the pooja of the first manacha (prominent) Ganpati,the Kasba Ganpati,by Mayor Vaishali Bankar at 10.30am Saturday and concluded with the immersion of the idol of Amarjyot Tarun Mitra Mandal of Bhavani Peth at 3.20 pm on Sunday at Nateshwar Ghat.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) M B Tambade said,The Ganesh immersion procession did take a little longer as compared to last year. Time was never a concern for us but in the backdrop of various intelligence inputs and in the backdrop of some incidents in the city in the past few months,a peaceful procession was our priority.
Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol and Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjivkumar Singhal monitored the security arrangement round the clock.
There is no doubt that it was result of a coordinated effort of all branches of police force and individual police stations. We got excellent support from the National Service Scheme Students of Pune University who were our special police officers and many other retired police personnel too, he said.
The immersion of fifth the manacha Ganpati concluded at 7.15 pm Saturday,about one-and-a-half-hour late as compared to last year. The idol of famous Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati was immersed at 8.25 am Sunday. The processions on four important routes,Laxmi Road,Kelkar Road,Tilak Road and Kumthekar Road,converged on Alaka Talkies Chowk and were greeted at a pandal set up by the PMC. Mayor Vaishali Bankar,Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak and Divisional Commissioner Prabhakar Deshmukh visited the pandal.
Singer and composer Salil Kulkarni,actors Amruta Khanvilkar and Tejasvini Pandit,composer duo Ajay-Atul were among celebrities who participated in the procession. Kulkarni and Ajay-Atul were also part of dhol squads.