Lakhs of devotees in the city bid adieu to Lord Ganesh as the ten-day Ganeshotsav celebrations ended on Friday.

Thousands gathered at Girgaum Chowpatty as Lalbaugcha Raja, the city's most popular Ganesh idol, was ferried into the Arabian Sea atop a boat and immersed amid chanting of 'Ganpati bappa morya, pudhchya varshi lavkar ya' (Come soon next year, Lord Ganesh).

Several Ganesh idols were immersed at various locations, including Girgaum Chowpatty, Shivaji Park, Juhu and Marve beach.

The Navy and Coast Guard were deployed to assist the devotees.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had directed all the 10,349 Ganesha mandals across the city to ensure safety of devotees who participated in an 18-hour procession which culminated with immersion of the idols.

Soon after the idols were immersed in the wee hours today at major beaches of the city, BMC, with help of dabbawallas, NGO's and corporates, undertook a clean-up drive which included segregation of the offerings made to Lord Ganesha.

The BMC deployed 40,000 employees at the 88 immersion places and 17 artificial ponds across the metropolis.

There were 500 lifeguards at all locations, 23 big search lights, 31 observations towers and 40 generators. For medical assistance, there were 60 first aid centres and 52 ambulances.

"We posted 50 volunteers at beaches to separate 'nirmalya' (offerings comprising coconuts and decoration material)," the Deputy Municipal Commissioner Sudhir Naik said.

"Considering the sentiments of devotees, 'nirmalya' will be recycled to make manure and not sent to the dumping grounds," Mr. Naik said.

The civic body expects to collect around 2,500 metric tonnes of 'nirmalya' and said the association of dabbawallas distributed pamphlets to over 1,000 households, informing them of segregation of 'nirmalya'.

"The offerings were segregated in different bags, flowers and fruits in white bags, plastic material in black bags and other material in blue bags," Kunti Oza of the Clean Mumbai Foundation said.

The Congress MP Priya Dutt was among the volunteers, who joined the clean-up operations at the beach. About 300 employees from some hotels also joined hands in the cleanliness drive at the Juhu beach.