Hyderabad, Heavy rain in several parts of the city delayed the immersion of thousands of Ganesh idols at the end of 10-day long Ganesh Chaturdhi festival.
(Due to rain) immersion processions are going on slowly compared to what we expected. The main procession itself started late. It may continue up to today afternoon, M T Krishna Babu, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner, said.
About 60,000 Ganesh idols of various sizes were to be immersed in the Hussain Sagar lake, the major water body in the city, and about 20 other lakes in the other parts of Hyderabad and its suburbs.
As the police imposed traffic restrictions for immersion processions, thousands of Ganesh idols of various sizes, hues and forms moved up to Hussain Sagar for immersion in vehicles like trucks and vans. Chants of 'Ganesh Maharaj ki Jai' filled the air as the procession marched ahead.
About one million people were expected to participate in these processions.
GHMC and Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) have made elaborate arrangements for the immersion that began this morning.
Nearly 4,000 sanitation workers, 120 cranes and special vehicles like front-loaders were being used for immersion. About 80 swimmers and divers with life-saving jackets have also been deployed.
The 'laddus' offered as prasadam to the deities were auctioned at different pandals, which went under hammer at whopping sums.The laddu of the famous pandal at Balapur village on the city's outskirts was said to have been won for Rs 9.26 lakh yestarday against Rs 7.5 lakh last year. Another auction at a pandal in Ameerpet reportedly fetched over Rs 10 lakh.
The main attraction during the Ganesh festivities was the 59-feet tall idol at Khairatabad in central part of the city. A huge 4,000 kg laddu had been put on the hand of the idol using a crane.
Meanwhile, over 15,000 security personnel, including 13 companies (around 1,300 personnel) of para-military forces, were deployed for the smooth conduct of idol immersions.
To prevent untoward incidents, as many as 32 bomb disposal squads have been put on duty, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said.
Special pickets were set up at 290 hyper sensitive and 580 sensitive areas in the city, he had said. The immersion of Ganesh idols was also going at different places in the state like Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam.