Hyderabad: The 11-day-long Ganesha Chaturthi ended in Thursday as lakhs of devotees immersed idols of the elephant-headed deity at various designated spots across the twin cities amidst fanfare and tight security.
The annual ritual has now become a massive event in Greater Hyderabad where an estimated 84,000 idols in different sizes have been immersed in various water bodies in the city and on its outskirts.
The GHMC, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority, Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board, Hyderabad and Cyberabad police, Fire Brigade and State Reserve Police Force worked in tandem to ensure a peaceful ‘nimajjanam’ (immersion).
For better co-ordination, an integrated command control comprising police, electricity department, HMDA, GHMC, HMWSSB and others was set up near NTR Gardens. Around 2400 foot soldiers ensured garbage was picked up; 2,500 metric tonnes of additional garbage was lifted from the city.
For the first time, the authorities had banned beating of drums and other musical instrument to curb noise pollution. Surprisingly, the corporation conducted fogging operations in NTR Marg to disperse the crowd that was enjoying the immersion sitting on the central medians, cranes and other places.
In the Hussain Sagar alone, 22,000 idols were immersed till midnight and the total count is expected to be 45,000 immersions till Friday evening. Over 10,000 idols were immersed in other city water bodies, including 26 artificial ponds constructed by the civic body.
The GHMC embarked on a sanitation drive, sweeping streets and removing garbage all along the procession routes by deploying Ganesh Action Teams (GATs), one for every four kilometres. Around 481 sanitary supervisors, 719 sanitary field assistants (SFAs) and 9,849 sanitation workers, totalling over 10,000 workers were deployed.
Twenty-seven health camps, 92 mobile toilets, and 15 waterproof tents were provided along the immersion routes. The Water Board set up 115 camps at immersion locations to facilitate devotees, the Roads and Building department's electrical wing deployed 75 generators at different locations to ensure proper lighting. HMDA had 1000 workers to remove the remains of the idols immediately after immersion along the entire Tank Bund, Necklace Road and NTR Marg.
During the 10 days of the festival, the corporation removed 1000 metric tonnes of garbage from the Ganesh pandals and on the big immersion day, over 2,000 metric tonnes of garbage was removed from city roads.
Immersion spots were decked with 37,674 temporary lights arranged by the Electricity department. Two teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 38 fire tenders, 11 boats and 10 swimmers were on standby to deal with any emergency. Around 2.5 lakh closed circuit cameras monitored activities from Balapur to Hussain Sagar and other localities in the area and 93 static cranes and 134 mobile cranes were in place surrounding Hussain Sagar and other lakes. The HMWSSB has distributed 3.52 lakh water packets to thirsty devotees despite the ban on single use plastic....