August 30, 2009 11:37:58 pm
The 12 Dhol-Tasha troupes that usually perform during the immersion procession of the Manacha Pahila Ganpati of Kasba Ganpati Mandal wont be seen this year. The mandal,which leads the procession every year in the city,has cancelled the performance in view of swine flu.
The step is expected to bring down the crowd by almost 5,000. The mandal has appealed to other mandals to reduce their troupes to bring down the crowd. Kasba Ganpati is the local deity and a huge crowd gathers on Laxmi Road for a darshan during the procession.
There have been 27 swine flu deaths in the city. Considering the severity of the situation,the mandal decided to cancel the performance of the Dhol-Tasha troupes, said Kasba Ganpati Mandal president Shrikant Shetye.
Every year,Dhol-Tasha troupes from schools like Kamayani,Ramanbaug and Adarsha Vidyalaya perform for the immersion. This year,besides these troupes,teams from the Bank of India,Bank of Baroda,Art of Living and women displaying rangoli will not be seen either. Shetye said the mandal would only have a troupe of Sanai-Chowghade and a combined troupe of Prabhat and Suprabhat bands as they had been performing for 66 years as a tradition.
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A lot of devotees gather on procession day for a darshan of the Kasba Ganpati. This time we have made special arrangements for the darshan to avoid crowding, said mandal executive president Pradeep Chaudhari. We hope the measures will ensure the procession is over an hour earlier, he added.
Shetye said volunteers would be provided with masks and gloves as a precaution against swine flu.
Other big mandals are also contemplating ways to reduce crowds. This year,we predict a smaller crowd because of the swine flu. We will have a rath in the procession but there will be no decorations and band troupes will be reduced, said Anna Thorat,president of Akhil Mandai mandal.
Hatti Ganpati procession cancelled
The Hatti Ganpati Mandal whose procession on Tilak Road attracts a huge crowd has cancelled its immersion procession this year. To avoid crowding,we are not going to carry out the immersion procession, said Shyam Mankar,president of the mandal. The mandal,known for erecting huge tableaux,has been celebrating the festival without any tableau.
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