Hyderabad: 40-ft tall Khairatabad Ganesh idol immersed in Hussain Sagar

Hyderabad: A 40-foot tall Panchamukha Rudra Maha Ganapati idol of Khairatabad was finally immersed in the Hussain Sagar Lake on Sunday night.

Ganpati immersion took place with reverence by devotees in the Hussain Sagar lake. The tallest idol from Khairatabad reached the Hussain Sagar in the afternoon. The 40-feet tall and 23-feet wide idol was brought to NTR Marg, where it was immersed with the help of a huge crane

On Sunday, 1,000 idols from different parts of the city were immersed in Tank Bund. Thousands of devotees took part in the program throughout the city to bid adieu to lord Ganesh, while about 27,000 security personnel were deployed as part of the extensive arrangements for the smooth and peaceful execution of the annual rituals.

Apart from Hussain Sagar Lake, several idols were immersed in various lakes and small ponds within the boundaries of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).

Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy monitored immersion processions in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana from state command and control centre. Monitored the processions through use of technology and was being done from police station level to city, district and the state level through CCTV cameras linked to control rooms.

Animal Husbandry Minister T Srinivas Yadav also reviewed the arrangements at Hussain Sagar. He sailed in a boat to see the immersion points and the steps taken to deal with any emergency. Yadav said the immersion was on in a smooth manner. He said the process was likely to be completed by midnight or early Monday.

The massive procession with large idols began from Balapur on the outskirts of the city while dozens of processions joined it enroute. The procession moved through communally sensitive old city including historic Charminar, Moazzam Jahi Market and Basheerbagh before reaching Hussain Sagar in the heart of the city.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, Cyberabad Police Commissioner Stephen Ravindra, and Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwath inspected the immersion processions at various places. On Sunday, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) installed 330 cranes of various capacities at 33 lakes and 25 special ponds created for the Ganesh immersions.

Meanwhile, the 21 kg balapur Ganesh laddu was auctioned and bought for as much as Rs. 18.90 lakh. It was purchased by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council member from Kadapa Ramesh Yadav and Marri Sashank Reddy of Abacus Overseas Education. Ramesh announced that he will give the laddu to the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Ganesh festivities could not be held last year due to COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, while the High Court banned the immersion of PoP idols in the Hussain Sagar Lake, the Telangana government got the ban lifted by approaching the Supreme Court, which allowed a symbolic immersion. It meant that the idol should not be left in the water for long and should be taken out after immersing it. The court also said that this is the last year that PoP idol immersions can take place in the Hussain Sagar Lake, and asked the state government to make alternate arrangements from next year.

The mammoth procession also brought the entire city to a halt on Sunday. Police imposed traffic restrictions from 6 am on Sunday till 6 am on Monday. Liquor shops and bars will remain closed in the limits of all three police commissionerates. A total of 40 cranes have been deployed for immersion at Hussain Sagar. The decks for immersion in this lake were cleared after the Supreme Court allowed the immersion of idols made of plaster of Paris for this year.

Earlier, the Telangana High Court had refused to allow immersion of idols of plaster of Paris and had rejected the plea of the GHMC for modifying its orders, saying it can’t allow pollution of the lake. The GHMC had then moved the Supreme Court, which gave the exemption for this year.

More than 8,000 workers, constituting 162 Ganesh Action Teams, would be posted on three shifts to ensure smooth completion of immersion. The GHMC pressed into service 20 excavators, 21 earth-movers, 39 mini tippers and 44 vehicles with 10 tonnes of capacity to remove waste after immersion.

Ganesh festivities could not be held last year due to Covid-19 pandemic. Like in the past, thousands of idols have been installed this year. However, authorities have appealed to devotees to take all precautions in view of Covid. GHMC distributed free masks among devotees. The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board set up special camps at 101 locations, including procession routes, to provide 30 lakh packets of water to devotees.

The Roads & Buildings department has organise barricades, watch towers and view cutters, while the Fire department would provide 38 fire-tending vehicles to face emergency situations. Authorities have also deployed boats with 30 expert swimmers at Hussain Sagar for help in case of any drowning incident.

The South Central Railway (SCR) will run eight MMTS special trains to various destinations in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secundrabad on the intervening night of September 19-20 (between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.).

The special trains will be operated between Secunderabad-Hyderabad, Hyderabad-Lingampalli, Lingampalli-Hyderabad, Hyderabad -Secunderabad Hyderabad-Lingampalli, Lingampalli-Falaknuma, and Falaknuma-Secunderabad who would be travelling for witnessing the immersion of Ganesh idols on the final day of the festivities.

Hyderabad Metro Rail has also decided to extend its services on Sunday. Instead of running the last services at 10.15 p.m. on that day, it extended the time till 1 a.m. The trains will reach terminating stations by about 2 a.m.