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Hakim inspects ghats to take stock of prep for immersions

Kolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim on Thursday inspected different ghats in the city to ensure smooth immersion of idols and avoid any untoward incident. The Mayor was accompanied by Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh and Member, Mayor-in-Council (Parks & Gardens) Debasish Kumar.

"The immersions will start right from the day of Vijaya Dashami and will continue till Friday, October 11. As directed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, we are making all possible arrangements for smooth immersion and prevention of any untoward incident. Apart from the representatives of the Puja committees, several people also turn up at the ghats to witness the immersions. We are working in tandem with Kolkata Police and will be making periodic inspections in the next few days," said Hakim.

The inspection was conducted at Baje Kadamtala Ghat, Gwalior Ghat (popularly known as Judges Ghat), Doi Ghat and Nimtala Ghat. All the four ghats witness lakhs of people during Durga idol immersion, with the Baje Kadamtala Ghat topping the list.

"The arrangements will be conducted in strict compliance with the guidelines of the National Green Tribunal. Our KMC officials and Kolkata Police have been very sincere and immersions are being carried out smoothly every year. We are hopeful that it will be the same this time too," an optimistic Hakim added.

He reiterated that due to natural erosion the river bank at Baghbazar Ghat has been affected. "Work needs to be done for strengthening the bank. We will make arrangements and in dangerous portions there will be danger signages to ensure that people do not encroach there," he said.

"We will have arrangement of cranes and pay loaders for immediate removal of the structures. There is a separate demarcated place in the ghats for dumping of flowers, leaves, etc," a senior KMC official said.

He added that a crane barge will be deployed with minimum 30 labourers at Baje Kadamtala Ghat, where the immersion of bigger idols take place. At Judges Ghat, where immersion of smaller idols take place, launches with boats and ropes for containment of idols within a zone will be done and thereafter they will be pulled manually by labourers.

"Safety and security are our priorities and there will be reasonable deployment of police in the ghats for this purpose. Once removed from the ghats, the idols are taken away by recyclers deployed by KMC," the official added.

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