Mumbai: The immersion processions of Ganesh idols which began this morning amidst much fanfare and tight security, marking culmination of the 10-day Ganesh festival, continued till late night across the city.
As many as 24,768 idols were immersed at 100 spots, which included beaches and natural and artificial ponds, by late night. The civic body BMC said there were 1795 idols of Ganesh mandals, 22,872 idols from homes and 101 Gauri idols.
As many as 2389 idols were immersed in 31 artificial ponds, set up by BMC to prevent pollution of natural water bodies.
"Apart from one minor incident, all is well," said an official from BMC's disaster control management. "Amit Debolkar (25) received injuries when a spear attached with Ganesh idol fell on his head at Girgaum chaupati," said the official, adding that he was admitted to nearby G T hospital and was responding well to treatment.
Immersion processions began as early as 8 AM and continued till late night, despite the incessant rains.
Devotees from all walks of life and all age groups chanted "Ganpati Bappa Moraya, pudhchya varshi lavkar yaa" (Lord, come back quickly next year). The processions are expected to go on till tomorrow morning.
The morning downpour could not dampen the spirit of the devotees who were seen singing and dancing on the streets.
Police had also deployed helicopters and drones for surveillance.
Mumbai police's spokesperson Ashok Dudhe told PTI that "not even single untoward incident has been reported so far."
There were 607 lifeguards, 58 control cells and 74 first-aid centres set up across the city. Moreover, 81 motor boats and 60 ambulances were kept ready. The civic body had also set up 118 portable toilets. As many as 5,173 employees and 2,382 officers oversaw the immersion.
Prime locations for immersion are Girgaon chaupati, Juhu beach, Powai lake, Dadar chaupati, Madh jetty, Marve, etc.
Mayor Snehal Ambekar and BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta in a joint statement yesterday had appealed devotees to inform the civic authorities if they needed any assistance or if they were stung by jelly fish or sting ray along the beaches.
In Pune, thousands of people lined the streets as the five traditional `manache' (privileged) Ganesh mandals -- Kasba, Tambdi Jogeshwari, Guruji Talim, Tulshibaug and Kesariwada -- set out for immersion of Ganesh idols. By 7.30 PM, all five Ganesh idols had been immersed.
Though hundreds of Ganesh mandals install idols across the city and take part in the immersion processions with fanfare, these five mandals are among the oldest.
Kesariwada Ganpati was installed by the nationalist leader Lokmanya Tilak, who is credited with starting the tradition of public celebration of Ganesh festival in Maharashtra.
In Nagpur, the civic body had installed 99 artificial tanks. Almost three lakh idols were immersed in various parts of the city.
The immersion festivities in Nashik district were marred by reports of deaths by drowning. As many as seven people drowned during immersions across the district.