The residents of Lalbaug would be forced to carry photo identity cards during the 11 days of the festival, which starts on September 1.
The ID check comes in after the Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh Mandal decided at a meeting two days ago to issue photo identity cards to around 2,500 residents staying in the 700 houses in the area where the Raja holds court.
Rupesh Pawar, a member of Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh Mandal, confirmed the news. “We arrived at the decision in order to strengthen security arrangements so that no one sneaks in by giving the reference of a resident in order to get the darshan.”
“The crowds thronging Lalbaug during Ganeshotsav cross the 20 lakh-mark every day. Many people try to avoid the queue, saying they are going to meet relatives in the area.
To avoid this, we are issuing photo ID cards to residents”, said a senior member of the mandal. He added that it was also to reinforce the security against anti-social elements.
For two years now, they Lalbaugcha Raja Ganesh mandal has stopped taking money for the Raja’s habiliments.
The mandal used to have a waiting list of 70-80 people every year, desirous of dressing the Raja after their wishes were fulfilled.
Rs 14 crore
The amount Lalbaugcha Raja has been insured for this year, almost three times more than its last year’s insurance cover (R5 crore).
The number of people, who throng Lalbaugcha Raja every day during the 10-day festival.
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