Vijayawada: People thronged the markets in the city to purchase Ganesh idols and puja material on the eve of Ganesh Chaviti on Thursday. Special stalls were arranged at Kaleswara Rao Market, Bhavani Puram, Satyanarayanapuram, Gandhi Nagar, Eluru Road, Patamata and other colonies. In view of the huge demand, sellers hiked the prices of puja material and other goods bought for to celebrate the festival.
Similarly, stalls were set up to sell clay Ganesh idols across the city to encash the huge demand. The flower market at I Town recorded huge crowd and marigold was sold at `100 a kg, the highest price in the recent times."Sellers are looting the public and trying to encash the festive craze. Cost of all the puja material has gone up by at least 40 per cent due to lack of proper monitoring by the officials," said K. Lalitha Kumari, a homemaker.
This year, the Vijayawada city police received 1,100 applications seeking permission to set up pandals but the cops agreed for only 700 pandals, after considering various aspects. "We have taken necessary steps to permit pandals in the city and will take stringent action on those arranging pandals without permission. For Ganesh Nimajjan, dedicated water bodies have been assigned like the one at Krishnaveni ghat and specified routes have been marked for the processions," said DCP Kranti Rana Tata.
A huge eco-friendly Ganesh idol, measuring 72-feet, was arranged by Doondi Ganesh Seva Samiti in the city. Special queue lines were arranged. The Samiti has been organising the festival in a grand manner for the last three years with eco-friendly Ganesh idols. Special queue lines were arranged to enable thousands of devotees have darshan of the Mushika vahana Ganapati. Special parking was also provided for the devotees.