As the 10-day-long Ganesh festival drew to a close, more than 39,000 idols of the elephant-headed god were immersed in water bodies, including artificial ponds, across Mumbai till Friday noon in the presence of a sea of devotees.
The festival, which began with ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ on September 19, concluded on ‘Anant Chaturdashi’ on September 28.
Amid the beating of drums and chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’, various Ganesh mandals in the city started processions on Thursday to immerse the idols of the deity, marking the culmination of the festival that is celebrated across Maharashtra with fervour.
The immersion processions in the city, which began a day ago, concluded on Friday afternoon on the second day. Till noon, nearly 40,000 idols of Lord Ganesh were immersed in the Arabian Sea and other water bodies, including the artificial ponds set up by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), civic officials said.
The city’s famous Lalbaugcha Raja idol, whose procession started at 11.30 am on Thursday, was immersed in the Arabian sea off the Girgaum Chowpatty around 9.15 am on Friday, they said.
A 16-year-old boy drowned in the sea off the Juhu beach on Thursday evening.
A total of 39,758 idols were immersed till noon on Friday, of which 32,345 were household Ganesh idols, 6,951 were ‘sarvajanik’ (public) Ganpati and 462 were the idols of Goddess Gauri, the officials said.
Of the total number of idols, as many as 11,107 were immersed in artificial ponds created by the BMC, they said, adding that 10,207 of them were household Ganesh idols, 740 sarvajanik and 160 of Goddess Gauri.
In view of the huge crowd during the immersion processions in Mumbai, more than 19,000 police personnel were deployed in the city to thwart any untoward incident, an official said.
Separate control rooms were set up to monitor the immersion processions, he added.
The BMC posted 1,337 lifeguards, including 1,035 at 69 natural water bodies and 302 at around 200 artificial ponds, and arranged 53 motorboats at natural water bodies.
A total of 242 inspection towers were set up at natural water bodies and artificial points, apart from the deployment of fire-fighting vehicles and trained manpower at the immersion spots, the civic body said.