Two-wheeler ban likely at Ganesh immersion sites

September 8th, 2011 - 11:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Sep 8 (IANS) The Maharashtra government may ban the plying of two-wheelers during the Ganesh immersion ceremonies next Sunday at major sites in Mumbai and the rest of the state, Home Minister R.R. Patil indicated Thursday.

Patil gave the indication while taking a security-related tour of certain Ganesh pandals in the city in the evening.

“Plying of two-wheelers shall be restricted at all Ganesh immersion sites, especially where huge crowds gather to participate or witness the ceremonies,” an official spokesperson for Patil told IANS later.

However, two-wheelers would be permitted only on roads and immersion sites where huge crowds will not gather, the official said.

Though declining to elaborate the reasons behind the move, it is believed that it has been done from the security point of view.

Millions of people will participate in immersion ceremonies of several lakh idols of Lord Ganesh at the end of the 11-day Ganeshotsav festival in Mumbai and Maharashtra, here Sunday.

Patil’s move could spell trouble for ordinary families who transport the idol of the elephant-headed god from their homes to immersion sites on scooters or motorcycles.

Immersion ceremonies of big, medium and small idols shall be carried out in processions to rivers, lakes, ponds and wells in places like Thane, Pune, the entire coastal Konkan region and other cities and towns.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Wednesday appealed to devotees not to carry bags or packages during immersion in view of security considerations following the terror attack in New Delhi.

“I appeal to all people to remain alert and co-operate with the police and security officials to avert any such incidents here,” Chavan urged.

Mumbai will witness massive crowds of devotees as well as domestic and foreign tourists converge at places like Girgaum Chowpatty, Dadar Chowpatty, Juhu, Versova, Marve beaches, Madh Island, Gorai Creek, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, lakes, ponds and other artificial immersion sites created by the civic authorities.

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