Ten day Ganeshotsav begins in Maharashtra

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Mumbai, Sep 3 (UNI) A festive mood prevailed in Maharashtra as hundreds and thousands of devotees commenced the ten day 'Ganeshotsav', marking the birthday of the elehant god, with traditional and religious fervour amidst tight security arrangements in the wake of serial bomb blasts in various parts of the country.

Cries of 'Ganapathy bappa moriya, mangalamurthi moria' rent the air in various localities across the state, as people in great numbers carried the idol of Ganesha of various sizes and hues for the traditional puja. Crackers were burst on the occasion and long queues were seen at Ashta Vinayak temples, especially the popular Siddivinayak Temple at Prabhadevi, Dadar in Central Mumbai.

Ten companies of State Reserve Police (SRP) would be deployed in the city during the ten-day festival. A special arrangement had also been made for the wireless van to reach the spot within seven minutes of eventuality, if any. These vans would be monitored by the main control room.

Police have asked the Vinayak mandals to instal CCTV cameras and metal detectors.

The department had already held several rounds of meetings with office-bearers of Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav Mandals and asked them to assign their volunteers for maintenance of security and separate queues for devotees who come to seek blessings of Lord Ganesha.

The Lalbaug Cha Raja mandal came up with a novel concept of an SMS alert to inform the devotees about the status of queue. For this, the devotees have to type 'START RAJA' space 'your nearest railway station' and send it to 9845298452. Once registered, they would get regular updates on the Lalbaug Cha Raja. Similarly, they would also receive updates on the progress of the 'visarjan' (immersion) procession. Being the diamond jubilee (75th) year, the Mandal had insured devotees for Rs 1.5 crore and had already paid the premimum to the insurance company.

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