An expansive security apparatus, the centre piece of Ganesha celebrations in a city always on a high-alert, was set in place for the day of visarjan processions on Saturday.

Around 23,000 police personnel and officers were pressed into service across the city, with special squads deployed at immersion locations.

Four additional companies, two each of the Rapid Action Force and the Border Security Force, were also pressed into service. Extensive checking of locations was carried out by bomb disposal squads.

“We have taken all the necessary precautionary measures. We have taken drives to keep the roads open. A lot of spadework has been done in terms of coordination with the Ganpati pandals, churches, mosques and other prayer places,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Mumbai, Sadanand Date, told The Hindu on the phone.

Around 40 routes were closed for traffic to keep them free for the processions to pass. Eighty-one visarjan spots, inducing artificial ponds and lakes were identified for protection.

Mr. Date said 4,200 Ganpatis from community pandals and 35,000 idols installed in individual homes were expected to be out on the streets.

As a vital security measure, CCTV systems were installed in key immersion locations such as the Chowpatty at Mahim, Juhu, Dadar and Girgaum.

The civic body, naval police stations and the Coast Guard contributed to the security infrastructure and worked in coordination with the police. Around 1,000 independent volunteers assisted the visarjan celebrations.

By afternoon, the streets were packed with people as trucks carrying idols set off for the immersions spots.