Mumbai: The city bade adieu to more than 45,000 Ganesh idols (figure as per 9 pm on Friday), mostly household ones, on Friday. Some sarvajanik mandal Ganpatis were also immersed today during the one and a half day visarjan. All beach and lake venues were thronged by devotees as well as onlookers. Mumbaikars were teary-eyed as they saw their favourite deity off until next year. “The festival had just started and we will have to now wait for an entire day until we meet our Bappa again,” said Mrunmayee Vaishampayan, a Girgaum resident who was at Girgaum Chowpatty for visarjan.
Many municipal ward offices where there are most household Ganpatis had addresses of artificial lakes and ponds devotees can opt for instead of city water bodies. Of those, more than 10,000 people opted for artificial lakes and ponds this year. “We have kept track of artificial pond immersions as well. More than 10,000 gharguti (household) ganpatis have opted for it, which is great. The figures will rise by the end of the day,” said a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official from Disaster Management Unit. Although devotees are allowed to play loudspeakers until midnight, they need to take care of Silence zones. Many were seen flouting those rules as they went on with hospitals, schools and other areas playing loud music while on the way for visarjan.
“If courts and other bodies understand our religious sentiments and allow us to use loudspeakers until midnight, shouldn’t we understand and consider their point as well? There is no problem in celebrating a festival but it can be done with sophistication. We could have taken care of that (no noise in silence zones) at least,” said Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz Foundation.