'Ganesh Chaturthi' commences in Mumbai with religious fervour

Ganesha chaturthi

Lord Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and prosperity arrived in the homes of his devotees amid traditional fervour, pomp and gaiety.

The ten-day Ganesh festival began from today with the "pratisthanpana" (installation) of the Ganpati idols in Sarvajanik pandals and households.

The iconic 78-year-old 'Lalbaugcha' Raja, the 22 feet Ganpati at Lalbaug, 58-year-old GSB seva mandal of King's Circle, the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samiti in Wadala and Khetwadi Ganpati are some of the prestigious mandals here.

Politicians including Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and former Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi, and filmstars like Salman Khan, Nana Patekar and Jeetendra joined the common man in celebrating the festival.

The administration has made available additional BEST and MSTRC bus services for benefit of the citizens.

Adequate security measures have been taken with deployment of state police, state Reserve Police Force, Rapid Action Force, Home Guards and civil defence personnel.

The mandals have been asked to install CCTVs and organisers have been trained in mob control and monitoring suspicious activities.

With the rains taking a break, people utilised their holiday today to visit family and friends. Those who installed the Lord at home thronged the markets to make last minute purchases to accord him a grand welcome with 'modaks', 'karanjis' and 'laddoos' (sweets).

Over a lakh household Ganpatis will be immersed tomorrow, prompting the opposition parties like Shiv Sena and MNS not to participate in the Bharat bandh called by the BJP-led NDA to protest the fuel price hike and FDI.

Meanwhile, the "Fort Vibhaag Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal", one of the oldest in the Fort area of south Mumbai, has decided to highlight the cause of organ donation by providing information about it through pamphlets, posters and documentaries.

Ten volunteers of this 'Icchapurti Ganesha' (wish fulfilling Ganesha) having pledged to donate their vital organs after death.

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