Rashmi Ranjan

Mumbai: The Mumbai police have beefed up security to keep a hawk-eyed vigil in the city during the 10- day Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which began on Saturday amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said.

In view of the virus outbreak, the festival is being celebrated in a subdued manner this year to curb the spread of infection, the official said.

Besides, Muharram is also being observed in a simple manner as the government has not allowed processions in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, he added.

"Apart from the local police, a company of Rapid Action Force (RAF), three companies of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), local arms and riot control police have been deployed in the city," the official said.

Quick response teams, bomb disposal squads and anti- terrorism cells have also been put on alert to prevent any untoward incident, he said.

According to him, local police stations will provide security cover to Ganesh pandals in their areas, while an additional deployment of 30 police personnel will be present at the city's famous Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh pandal.

"Moreover, the police will monitor the happenings in the city with the help of 5,000 CCTV cameras and also use drones for aerial surveillance," he said, adding that personnel in plain clothes have been manning markets as well.

The police have urged citizens not to gather on roads during the festivities and pandals have been asked to cut down noise pollution, the official said.

Apart from the instructions to follow social distancing norms, people have also been asked to wear masks and sanitise pandals as a precautionary measure, he added.


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