As Pune gears up for the Ganesh Visarjan (idol immersion) ceremony marking the conclusion of the 10-day Ganesh festival, the Pune Police have implemented extensive security measures to ensure the safety of the multitude of devotees expected to participate.
To maintain order and security, approximately 9,000 police personnel will be strategically deployed throughout the city for the entire duration of the Ganesha immersion process. These measures include the presence of the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) and Quick Response Teams (QRT). Furthermore, both male and female officers in plainclothes will be present among the crowds to discreetly monitor and address potential issues, particularly those related to eve-teasing and chain-snatching.
2 SRPF teams will join
In addition to the police force, 950 Home Guards, two companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), the Rapid Action Force (RAF), and Striking Force teams will be on hand to bolster security. Critical routes commonly used by Ganesh mandals during processions will be meticulously sanitized by the BDDS. These routes are also equipped with CCTV surveillance systems, and authorities have established control rooms and emergency help centers along them.
To expedite emergency services, separate routes have been designated for ambulances. Pune City Police Commissioner Ritesh Kumar and Joint Commissioner of Police Sandeep Karnik have devised a comprehensive security plan for Ganeshotsav 2023, with a focus on ensuring a peaceful and joyous experience for all Ganesh devotees.
Processions will be led by five prominent Ganesh mandals
The processions will be led by five prominent Ganesh mandals, including Kasba Ganpati Mandal, Tambdi Jogeshwari Mandal, Guruji Talim Mandal, Tulshibaug Mandal, and Kesri Wada Mandal. Additionally, other renowned mandals like Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganesh Mandal, Bhau Rangari Ganesh Mandal, and Akhil Mandai Ganesh Mandal will partake in the idol immersion.
Security efforts encompass a variety of specialized teams, including multiple quick response teams, riot control vehicles, bomb detection and disposal squads, dog squads, and anti-chain-snatching teams. The traffic control branch will also be fully staffed to manage traffic and processions, with several roads in the central part of Pune either temporarily closed or subject to traffic diversions.
Ambulances and fire tenders will be strategically stationed across the city, and watchtowers have been erected at critical locations for enhanced surveillance. Similar security measures have been implemented in the neighboring areas of Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune Rural to ensure a safe and peaceful Ganesh Visarjan ceremony.
Procession time to go down this year
This year, nearly 3,865 Ganesha pandals and 615,247 household idols have been registered. Typically, the procession in the city lasts for over 20 hours. In 2022, the ceremonial Ganesh immersion, a highlight of the 10-day festival, was completed in a record 29 hours. This duration marked the longest immersion process since 2014, with large crowds gathering on the streets after a two-year hiatus to bid farewell to the elephant god.
In addition, certain limitations on the number of processions are in place, with 2 to 3 teams permitted in each Mandal. Each squad is allowed 50 drums and 15 tashas to participate in the event.
While the iconic Shrimant Dagdusheth Ganapati is expected to leave at its scheduled time, the immersion procession is anticipated to take less time than the previous year. Other Ganapati mandals will be allowed to join the procession after closely monitoring the situation to adjust their schedules accordingly.