Mumbai: Mumbai’s famous Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh mandal will this time witness heightened security and an increased insurance cover of Rs 14 crore, in wake of the triple blasts here on 13 July.
Ganesh Chaturthi beginning on Thursday is the biggest festival in Maharashtra and Lalbaugcha Raja is one of the oldest and the most popular mandals in the metropolis attracting around one crore devotees including filmstars and politicians following which tight arrangements have been made.
“It has been noticed that every year before the Ganesh festival some untoward incident takes place. To ensure a safe festival we have enhanced our security this time. We have deployed 300 private guards, last year there were 200. Also, the number of CCTV cameras have been increased from 35 to around 70,” Lalbaugcha Raja president Ashok Pawar told PTI.
Also, there will be metal detector door frames and handheld detectors. Besides police security, we will also have our around 2,500 volunteers, he said.
The mandal has also secured an insurance policy worth Rs 14 crore in case of any eventuality.
“The mandal has been insured for Rs 14 crore, an increase of Rs 4 crore. Devotees have been insured for Rs 5 crore, last year the insurance cover for them was Rs 3 crore. For jewellery of the deity Rs 6 crore have been kept aside, last year it was Rs 4 crore. The insurance cover for pandal remains same -- Rs 3 crore,” Pawar said.
Last year, the mandal had erected an air-conditioned pavilion for devotees but this time it has been withdrawn.
“To enable better circulation of air we had installed AC. But the effect was not cooling and there were suffocation complaints. We have put on lot of fans this year,” he said.
The organisers have reduced the height of the stage from 3 ft to 1.5 ft. “We have done this for devotees so that they find it easier to touch the deity and seek his blessings,” he said.