To reduce crowding at the 73 natural immersion sites for Ganpati festival, including at Girgaum, Dadar and Juhu Chowpatty, the BMC will allot time slots online for visarjan.
Last year, the BMC on a pilot basis had started booking slots for immersion at Girgaum Chowpatty. Immersion or visarjan for both household and mandal idols is conducted on the second, fifth, 10th and 11th day of the festival, with the most immersions taking place on the last day. The 10-day Ganpati festival begins Friday.
Anticipating an increase in the number of pandals this year, BMC has extended the online booking of slots initiative to all natural immersion sites in the city.
Compared to last year, there are at least 200 more pandals that have received permission from the civic body to celebrate the festival. Till Thursday morning, BMC has approved 1,996 applications of Ganesh pandals.
Last year, BMC’s D ward office had developed an app to streamline online immersion. The same is to be used in all wards this time.
In the wake of rising Covid-19 infections in the city and threat of a third wave, Mayor Kishori Pednekar has appealed to pandals and devotees to give preference to artificial ponds for immersion. The BMC has increased the number of artificial ponds in the city. There will be 173 artificial ponds this year, as opposed to 167 last year.