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Security measures escalated ahead of Ganeshotsav, Muharram

Thursday, September 13, 2018
By Dev Kotak

50,000+ police personnel deployed, addl force in Lalbaug

In wake of the upcoming festivals Ganesh Chaturthi and Muharram, the Mumbai Police have heightened security measures to ensure proceedings and celebrations go on smoothly, keeping criminal and anti-social elements at bay. A confident city police assures complete preparedness, including review of security across various regions before the festivals commence.

This year the ten day Ganeshtosav festival will be celebrated from September 13-23 and Muharram will be observed from September 12-21 as both religious events overlap. The police have assured that the presence of police personnel has been beefed up, over 50,000 officers deployed to overlook 162 immersion points across the city.

Barring the regular police staff that has been pressed into action during both these festivals, additional deployment of SRPF (State Reserve Police Force), civil defense, home guards, RAF (Rapid Action Force), Force One (elite commando force) and Quick Response Team (QRT) has been ensured to maintain law and order and keep the safety and security intact during the time period.

NSS and NCC too will send volunteers to pitch in with traffic and security management.

Special attention has been paid towards the security of senior citizens, women and children and additional help centers and first aid kiosks will be installed at key immersion spots.

In order to man crowded places, plain clothes cops will be posted in various places and 5000 CCTV cameras with live monitoring, closely linked to the control room to keep a tight vigil over any suspicious persons have been placed.

Mumbai Police have sought help from other security agencies such as the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard.

Receiving the highest footfall (number of devotees) year after year, the much revered and highly anticipated Lalbaugcha Raja (king of Lalbaug) will witness beefed up security, over 500 cops have been designated to man the area and ensure peace.   

11 DCP's 4 ACP’s, 20 Police Inspectors (PI) and 59 API/PSI rank officers will overlook the preparations and manage the flow of rush and devotees in Lalbaug. 24 DFMD (Door Frame Metal Detectors) and 24 HHMD (Hand Held Metal Detectors) will be used to ensure suspicious elements do not spark off panic or create fear to dampen the festive mood and also to avoid anti-sabotage activities at large Ganesh mandals.

The number of pandals this year are- 6455 public Ganpati mandals, 1,55,414 private mandals and 11,830 Gauri Ssthapna.

To manage traffic, close to 3200 traffic personnel have been deployed during the period. Mumbai police's traffic division has set up control rooms in five major immersion spots — Girgaum Chowpatty, Juhu Cchow patty, Shivaji Park, Ganesh Ghat and Bada Masjid.  

“Despite the challenges of manning such a large city we are prepared and absolutely ready. Efforts for planning of bandobast have been increased and arrangements are meticulous. Sufficient deployment and highest level review has been made. Anti terror Cells of all police stations have been activated. Precautionary measures along with an in-place intelligence machinery has been ensured,” said Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Manjunath Singe.

Restrictions for drones and flying objects has been placed by cops.       

Barricades, boats and life guards' presence has been increased as beaches to avoid incidents of mishap.

Traffic restrictions include closure of 53 roads (on September 14, 17, 19 and 23), 56 roads reduced to one-way, 99 no parking spots and 18 roads that have disallowed entry of heavy vehicles.

At a local level, there will be coordination between pandal volunteers and local police stations.

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