Stage set for Ganesh idol immersion

HYDERABAD, AUG. 30. All is set for the mammoth and colourful procession of about 11,500 Ganesh idols on the final day of Ganesh Chaturthi in and around the twin cities on Saturday, culminating in their immersion in the Hussainsagar lake, Saroornagar tank, Hasmathpet tank and Rajannabowli.

About 17,000 police personnel are being deployed to oversee security arrangements and ensure peaceful conduct of the idols immersion.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the City Police Commissioner, Mr. P. Ramulu, said this included 15 SPs, 25 DSPs, 70 Inspectors, 290 SIs, 350 HCs, 2,500 PCs and 2,000 Home Guards from outside in addition to the 9,000-strong force of the City police. Anti-sabotage teams and sniffer dogs would be pressed into service to keep a strict vigil on the procession routes. Video-cameras and Closed Circuit TVs would be arranged at all strategic points to cover the procession.

Two special control rooms are being set up at Shilpashram (Tank Bund) and Gandhinagar Outpost. Already, two such control rooms have been set up where senior police officers and officers of other departments like the MCH, HMWSSB and AP Transco are coordinating with the arrangements. A special voice recording facility is being arranged at all the control rooms to record the complaints and instructions being issued, he said.

Seven special teams of doctors and nurses of the Medical and Health Department would be stationed at various places from Charminar to Hussainsagar. The Commissioner said the Tourism Department was keeping ready boats with communication equipment and expert swimmers at the Hussainsagar. He said in response to a complaint lodged by the Ganesh Utsav Samithi, the AP Transco officials had agreed to constitute 27 mobile parties to reconnect the transmission lines following passing off of the idols from the respective areas.

The Government would be stationing 29 cranes at different immersion locations for the idols immersion. Persons with wireless sets are being stationed at each crane. An aerial survey of the procession by a helicopter would be undertaken to identify traffic jams and regulate the processions.

So far, 782 rowdy-sheeters had been ordered to give attendance at police stations concerned and 21 persons allegedly indulging in forcible collection of funds in the name of Ganesh Chaturthi were arrested. Around 1,000 idols were immersed on Wednesday and another 1,000 would be immersed today, Mr. Ramulu said.

The Commissioner appealed to the organisers to allow only identified persons to stay on top of the vehicles. He advised the public not to take out children and old people in the procession. He said children and old people willing to participate in the procession should carry small slips containing their address and other details.

He asked the Ganesh mandapam organisers of the outer limits of the twin cities to start their vehicles by 7 a.m. He said if the centralised procession did not cross Charminar by 12.30 p.m. it would be stopped at Charminar for a maximum of half-an-hour to allow religious prayers. He said the Ganesh Utsav Samithi had been asked to ensure the presence of their speakers at their platforms on time and not to prolong the speeches beyond stipulated timings.

Mr. K. Aravinda Rao, Additional Commissioner of Police, Mr. V.S.K. Kaumudi, JCP (Security), Mr. Alagar, JCP (Crimes and SIT), DCPs, Mr. S. Umapathi (South), Mr. M. Punna Rao (North), Mr. C.V. Anand (East), Mr. Umesh Shroff (West), Mr. M.V. Dinakar Prasad (Traffic) and Mr. K. Narasimha Rao (Detective Department) were present.