Despite inclement weather and intermittent drizzling, the annual Ganesh Navratri festival came to an end with the immersion of Ganesh idols in the State capital and suburbs on Thursday.
Amidst ecstatic devotees dancing to the drum beats and bhajans, Ganesh idols’ procession started at 8am from various parts of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and reached Hussainsagar. Thousands of idols in different shapes and sizes were immersed in the lake from the designated spots. For the first time, the city’s largest Ganesh idol from Khairatabad moved from its venue at 8 am and immersed into the adjacent Hussainsagar lake by 2 pm. Politicians and celebrities participated in the processions in their respective areas. The police ensured a smooth passage of the processions from various localities.
The city police made elaborate security arrangements for the peaceful conduct of Ganesh immersion procession by deploying over 25,000 police personnel. On account of Ganesh immersion day, the State government declared holiday for government offices, schools and colleges in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts. There was little vehicular traffic on the city roads barring idols’ processions on the main procession route from 9am. Thousands of idols from the city as well as Medak, Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar districts were immersed in then water bodies.
Hyderabad City Police Commissioner M Mahendar Reddy said over 25,000 police personnel drawn from Hyderabad Police and from nine districts of Telangana, besides neighboring States of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and also from Central para-military forces (8,722) have been deployed for the purpose. The police heaved a sigh of relief as the Nimajjanam was peaceful and completed in a record time.
Emergency response teams were stationed at key locations on the route, the CP said, adding 310 hyper-sensitive and 605 sensitive places have been identified for which pickets have been posted. A total of 410 Mobile Parties moved in the area for smooth conduct of the Ganesh Festival, he said.
While 10,980 Ganesh idols were permitted to be installed at various public places last year, this year the figure was 11,094. The city security wing of Hyderabad City Police will deploy 23 bomb disposal teams, two access control teams at important Ganesh pandals and temples. The Anti-Sabotage Teams kept 23 sniffer dogs ready. No traffic other than the idols’ procession was allowed to move on the main procession route on Thursday from 9am till 8am on Friday. The event is being covered by over 12,000 CCTV cameras.
GHMC Commissioner Janardhan Reddy supervised the idols immersion from Tank Bund control room. (NSS)