Mumbai on high alert after Delhi terror attack

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Old 08-Sep-2011
Mumbai on high alert after Delhi terror attack

Mumbai: The financial capital was put on high alert following the terror attack in Delhi as Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said security would be enhanced at all vital installations in Maharashtra, particularly in court premises.

With the popular 10-day Ganesh festival being held across the state, Chavan, at an emergency cabinet meeting held yesterday, emphasised that there should be co-ordinated efforts of men and machinery to ensure the safety of devotees. The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Home Minister R.R. Patil, the police commissioner and senior officials.

Chavan urged authorities to increase safety measures wherever large Ganesh mandals (venues) are visited by large crowds of devotees who should abide by the rules that must be announced through print and electronic media as well as radio. As a precautionary measure, devotees are being asked not to carry their offerings in bags and not to park cars in the vicinity of mandals.

Both authorities and festival organisers are concerned about large Ganesh mandals where police arrangements have already been beefed up, said Naresh Dahibawkar, President, Mumbai Ganesha Co-ordination Committee, an umbrella organisation for the thousands of associations that hold the annual celebrations.

"Today, we appealed to the chief minister to provide more CCTVs at the large mandals, but he told us that there was no time to install new ones and asked us to do so with our funds. We have also appealed to all organisers to be extra vigilant over anyone moving in a suspicious manner. Such persons must be thoroughly checked before allowing them into the holy place."

Strategic points

While CCTVs have been placed at strategic points in the big mandals, thousands of volunteers are manning the smaller ones, he added. "We are doing our best to take care of the mandals and the police are taking care of the city."

The Lalbaugcha Raja Mandal in central Mumbai draws millions of devotees who wait for hours to offer their prayers. For the police, it is a mammoth task to not only maintain law and order and safety but also handle huge traffic snarls since several roads are closed during the days of immersion.

Meanwhile, police continue to block roads for routine checks with this exercise causing traffic jams in several parts of the city.

Old 08-Sep-2011
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