3,000 police personnel to be deployed for Vinayaka Chathurthi

By Naomi N Published on Sep 12, 2018 03:00 PM IST

Chennai: The Greater Chennai police have stepped up security arrangements ahead of Vinayaka Chathurthi tomorrow with over 3,000 personnel being deployed across the city.

According to sources, one policeman will be posted at each pandal which houses Lord Ganesha idol. They have also laid down stringent rules for the festival.

This morning, top police officials gathered for a meeting to review security arrangements.

"Departments such as Electricity Board, fire and rescue services and Chennai Corporation are working in coordination with the police. We have instructed organisers to draw electricity lawfully. More than 2,000 Vinayaka Chathurthi pandals will be there in the city, with places like MGR Nagar having over 150 installations,’ officials said.

Some of the rules to be followed include not displaying a Ganesha idol which is more than 10-feet and digital banners are not allowed at the venue. Also, flags, flexes, posters or banners of political parties are banned.

Inflammable objects are not to be kept since they could be dangerous to the public. With regard to using speakers, the police have said box speakers can be used to play music in the morning from 6 to 8 and in the evening from 5 to 7.

A Ganesha idol being readied in Chennai.

Cone-shaped speakers are banned from being used tomorrow in public places. A police officer said, "Each pandal with have police personnel deployed during the day. There should also be five people with identity cards present throughout the event."

A source said, "The idols will be kept tonight and the pooja will begin tomorrow morning and go on till Sunday noon. The police have imposed restrictions on how many people can gather at a spot."

It is learnt that some organisers were unhappy with the police rules: "The police have restricted the number of people who can gather at the pandal, which is unfair," an organiser said.

This year, the Madras High Court laid down rules for the installation of idols. In August last year, the government banned the use of Plaster of Paris, stating that idols should only be made of pure clay. According to the Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board, the idols are to be painted using non-toxic, water-soluble paints.

As usual, the police have allowed three locations for idol immersion -  Pattinapakkam, Srinivasapuram and Marina Beach.