After 10 days of celebration, Mumbaikars finally bid adieu to Lord Ganesha. This year’s Ganesha festival celebrations were low key due to demonetisation and levy of GST on Ganpati idols. The usual high profile celebrations were missing this time around, as people were facing cash crunch on account of demonetisation. Moreover, celebrations were dampened due to excessive rains in the city. Waterlogging was witnessed in several parts of the city as water had entered some pandals. Even lesser number of visitors had turned up at pandals due to monsoon. The usage of loudspeakers too was less as compared to previous years.
Huge processions of various Ganpati pandals carrying idols for immersion took to the streets of Mumbai on the tenth and final day of Ganesh Chaturthi.
Before noon, large Ganesh idols in south Mumbai including the famous ‘Lalbaugcha Raja’ as well as those from Girgaum and Ganesh Galli areas began heading towards the Girgaum Chowpaty for immersion.
Processions all over Mumbai began with devotees chanting ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar Ya’. People, mainly youths were seen dancing to the tune of traditional ‘dhol-tasha’. Sprinkling of vermilion added colour to the festive occasion.
ACP Subash Vele said, “The stoppage of DJ came as a huge boon for Mumbaikars. As a result of this the traffic was cleared fast and Ganpati was immersed. Senior citizens and common people also benefitted out of it as there was less noise on streets. There was lesser number of people dancing on roads as it became easier for us to regulate traffic. People have started using old instruments for listening music.”
Owner of DJ, Virendra Chourasia said, “We respect the Supreme Court’s decision of lowering the decibals of volume to be played by DJs. However, people should also understand our problems. We own instruments worth Rs 25 lakhs and have to incur huge losses. The traditional bands have started overcharging customers. Many youth have become unemployed on account of the decision.”
Waterfronts in Dadar, Shivaji Park, Juhu, Versova, Gorai also saw a huge turnout of people, who gathered to witness the immersion procession.
According to sources, 98 Ganesh idols of sarvajanik mandals and 3,612 household idols were immersed by 3 pm in the sea, ponds as well as in the makeshift tanks.The city police have stepped up security and are on a high alert. A tight vigil was maintained during the procession. Use of two-wheelers in crowded areas has been prohibited. CCTV cameras also kept a hawk’s eye on the crowd during the immersion procession in different parts of the city.