In a first, Lal­baugcha Raja gets elec­tric raft HOW TO GET THERE

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Badri Chat­ter­jee badri.chat­ter­jee@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The most pop­u­lar man­dal in the city, Lal­baugcha Raja, has worked out an im­mer­sion plan for Fri­day.

For the first time in the his­tory of the fes­ti­val, man­dal mem­bers have ac­quired a spe­cially de­signed, elec­tri­cally op­er­ated raft, which is in the form of a small ship that has a sep­a­rate por­tion at the side for the Ganesh idol to be seated dur­ing im­mer­sion. This por­tion will tilt at an an­gle of 45 de­grees to im­merse the idol 3km into the Ara­bian Sea from Gir­gaum chow­patty at 8am on Fri­day. “We have spent two years ac­quir­ing and im­ple­ment­ing this tech­nol­ogy to im­merse Bappa,” said Balasa­heb Kam­ble, pres­i­dent, Lal­baugcha Raja Sar­va­janik Ganeshot­sav Man­dal. “Ear­lier this year, our man­dal mem­bers vis­ited Bharuch, a city at the mouth of the river Nar­mada in Gu­jarat, where we got in touch with a pri­vate ship­ping com­pany that helped us ac­quire the raft. Af­ter ob­serv­ing sev­eral trial runs in the Nar­mada , the raft was fi­nally se­lected for this year’s im­mer­sion.” “The main idea was to carry out the whole pro­ces­sion smoothly and with this au­to­mated im­mer­sion tech­nol­ogy, the chances of any mishaps at sea are neg­li­gi­ble,” said Kam­ble.

Priced at Rs28 lakh, the 19x19­foot red­dish-brown raft is five-footh­igh and weighs 12 tonnes. The sep­a­rate 8X8-feet por­tion is where the 1.5 tonne idol will be placed . A 10-kg gen­er­a­tor, which pow­ers the raft, will tilt this sep­a­rated por­tion at a 45-de­gree an­gle.

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