Chennai: The Greater Chennai Police has earmarked three days for the immersion of Lord Ganesha idols in the sea and laid out extensive security measures, anticipating huge crowds.
The days to immerse the idols are 5, 7 and 8 September. As per sources, a strong 10,000 member police team will be deployed for duty. This year, permission has been given to immerse 2,600 vinayaka idols. They were installed across the city on 2 September, ahead of Ganesh Chathurthi which was celebrated Monday.
The Madras High Court and Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board have issued guidelines for immersion of idols in waterbodies. Police have identified sensitive areas in the city and will be deploying additional personnel here. “There are rules to be followed. This year we will register cases against those who use loud speakers,” officials said.
The police said this time they have identified six points for devotees to immerse the figurines. The public can access the sea at Ramakrishna Nagar, Ennore, two locations at Thiruvottiyur, Kasimedu, Srinivasapuram in Pattinapakkam and Palkalai Nagar, Neelankarai.
The Commissioner of police, A K Viswanathan has formed a special team of police to man the crowd and maintain law and order on these three days.
The large posse of police will be led by three Additional Commissioners. Six Deputy Commissioners, 12 Assistant Commissioners, Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors.
It may be noted that permission was granted to immerse 2,700 idols last year. The devotees can use cranes for immersion as some of the idols are as tall as nine-feet. Several teams of life guards and medical teams are also formed to be at the immersion points.
A police source said, “The personnel from the police and home guards to be deployed across the city will ensure that law and order is maintained and there is no disturbance for public peace. The challenge is to make sure groups do not clash with each other during celebrations.”
On Vinayaka Chathurthi day, 2,000 policemen were on duty, and no untoward incident was reported. The city police worked with the other departments such as Electricity Board, Fire and Rescue Services and Chennai Corporation. They also checked if those who set up pandals in public areas had No Objection Certificates (NOC) from various departments.
This time, a police officer in the rank of Inspector was appointed to guide outfits and individuals to get all clearance from respective departments to avoid confusion.
PHOTO: B ANAND & BOBBY DERIN H