Mumbai: After the recent blasts in some of the city’s most crowded markets, Ganesh mandals have decided to put security measures high up on their list of priorities this year.
The Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, an umbrella organization with more than 5,000 mandals under its umbrella, has decided to publish an anti- terror manual for all the committees under its purview.
Not only this, the Samiti is planning to seek tips on tackling terror from city cops, in the event that it strikes the city at the festive spots.
“We need to exercise extra caution this year. We have decided to prepare our own set of guidelines to maintain tight security during Ganeshotsav. We will be publishing our own manual of dos and don’ts, to be followed by the mandals,” said Naresh Dahibawkar, secretary of the Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti.
Naresh added that the manual would be distributed to all the mandals in the city. “Let police take care of security outside the mandals. We will take the onus of maintaining security within the mandal premises,” he said.
He added, “The Samiti is also planning to seek training from the Mumbai cops on how to deal with terror, if such a situation arises. We will be meeting with senior officials from the Mumbai police department, and seek their guidance.”
The manual will instruct members of the pandal management to keep their eyes trained for unidentified objects, and to identify suspicious activities in and around the mandals.
“This year we have decided to increase the number of cameras in the area. From the entrance of the mandals to the interiors, cameras will cover every lane, to detect suspicious movement.
The numbers of watchtowers too will be increased this year. We will also be installing other equipment, such as mobile jammers,” said Swapnil Parab, general secretary of the Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav Mandal, Mumbai Cha Raja.
Parab added, “A few days ahead of Ganeshotsav, all volunteers will be trained to deal with terror situations,” he said.