Hyderabad: The annual Ganesh Chaturthi festival ended with toned down celebrations this year, with even as the Khairatabad Ganesh idol immersion seeing a participation of only a few thousand people on Tuesday. A marked departure from previous years, the Tank Bund and NTR Marg were nearly empty by evening as devotees returned home early.
The main Khairatabad Ganesh idol, which earlier would witness the participation of at least few lakh devotees at Tank Bund, was immersed in the Hussain Sagar by about 4:30 p.m. However, throughout the day, individual families and others were also seen immersing idols as well.
With a low turnout, as opposed to the Tank Bund road being choc-a-block in earlier years, the the situation was also a relief for government and police officials, who were seen sitting idle by an evening at various places.
Each year, ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi, natives of Telangana’s districts also throng to the capital city to participate in the annual immersions of idols. The Ganeshotsav used to be celebrated with more fervor in the Hyderabad region than in other parts of the state, as the city used has two major idols like the biggest Khairatabad and Balapur Ganesh idols.
Giant cranes installed at Tank Bund are also placed at several points by the GHMC to lift the Ganapthi idols for immersions. However this time, many of the crane operators in fact were found to be sleeping due to the lower turn out among the public. The fear of getting infected by COVID-19 clearly kept people at bay.
More than 15,000 police personnel were also deployed across the city and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) also made arrangements in order to ensure an incident-free day. Each year in the past, the culmination of the 10-day festival would also be marked with a few untoward incidents for which government officials would also be prepared.
Till Tuesday evening, a total of 1,256 Ganesh idols, including 780 from public Pandals and 476 installed by residents at home, we’re immersed in the Hussain Sagar. According to local authorities, while there were about 320 public Ganesh Pandals in the twin cities, about 1.5 lakh people hosted the deity in their homes.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation also deployed over 150 lifeguards and over 40 cranes at the lake to ensure immersions would be carried out smoothly.