73 tonnes nirmalya generated through drive
Ganpati Bappa Morya, Pudhchya Varshi Laukar Ya cries rent the air as devotees in the city bid an emotional farewell to their favourite elephant God on Thursday.
Immersions took place at 23 immersion spots in the city where arrangements had been made by NMMC and the police had provide strict bandobast. No untoward incident was reported as 7,827 Ganesh idols were immersed in the ponds until 5am on Friday.
Of the idols immersed, 496 were of Sarvajanik mandals and 7,331 were of households.
Special arrangements had been made by NMMC to immerse the large idols of the sarvajanik mandals.
Additional municipal commissioner Ankush Chavan said, “Since there were a large number of large idols on the final immersion day, we had provided large floats and also forklifts facility for transporting the idols from the trucks to the floats for immersion.”
He added, “As is done every year, we had made special arrangements at Vashi Shivaji Chowk to welcome the visarjan rallies with flowers being showered on them from a specially erected platform.”
Police commissioner Hemant Nagrale, who visited the ponds along with his DCPs and traffic officials, too, ensured that law and order was maintained and there were no traffic snarls.
Nagrale said, “We had our officers and personnel posted at all the immersion spots and also along the various routes. A strict vigil was maintained to ensure that everything went off smoothly.”
MUNDHE NOT PRESENT AT IMMERSION SITE
Volunteers, who had a face-off with the municipal commissioner a few days ago, expected him to be present at the immersion site on the last day.
But, civic chief Tukaram Mundhe did not arrive at the ponds. He had slammed NMMC workers for taking money for immersing idols.
When asked about the reason for his absence, Mundhe said, An idol being taken for immersion at a Vashi pond on the last day of Ganeshotsav. Singer Shankar Mahadevan sings with other artistes at his Vashi house before visarjan on Thursday.
“There is no reason at all. I was controlling from the headquarters with continuous monitoring.”
The instructions by the civic body before the final immersion day had led to the Vashi gaon volunteers who immerse the
idols at the Vashi pond to contact volunteers at other ponds for a joint action.
They had planned to leave the visarjan work when the commissioner arrived at the pond.
The volunteers meanwhile went about their work taking
money for immersions, though the demands seemed to be subdued this time.
There were no reports of anyone being booked. The banners put up by the NMMC not to give donations to volunteers were also removed at several places.
The innovative drive initiated in the city with respect to segregation of garbage as per the order of mayor Sudhakar Sonawane and municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe on the immersion days has yielded excellent results.
The order was to ensure that the nirmalya, flowers, garlands, plants, fruits and so on that are brought along with Ganesh idols and can be processed and the decorations, ornaments, plastic, thermocol and other such dry materials be kept in separate bins.
The initiative to separate the dry and wet offerings at the time of immersion received tremendous response from the residents.
This year, the immersion days have yielded 65 tonnes of wet nirmalya and 8 tonnes of dry nirmalya.
Additional municipal commissioner Ankush Chavan said, “A special system had been put in place to transport the nirmalya collected from the immersion ponds to land-filled site in Turbhe.”
He said, “The fruits and other eatables that were brought along with the idol were through the volunteers kept separately. They have been distributed amongst the destitute and the needy.”
Mundhe had during his visit to Vashi pond on September 10, and slammed his officials for lack of proper segregation of nirmalya during the immersions. He had directed them to keep proper bins.
The officials had then hurriedly arranged for the bins and assured that the segregation process will be strictly followed.