Pune Ganeshotsav: Police face uphill task of keeping crowds and COVID-19 at bay

Salil Urunkar
Friday, 21 August 2020

Pune police will be deploying their workforce at fixed-points and there will be some mobile patrolling teams for round the clock bandobast during the 10 days of the festival.

Pune: With over 7 per cent of the force affected by the COVID-19 disease so far, Pune Police department is facing a daunting task of keeping the crowds and COVID-19 at bay during the 10-day festival being celebrated in the city starting from Ganesh Chaturthi on Saturday (August 22). Pune Police will be deploying 6000 police personnel and officers on roads to keep a check on unnecessary crowding and ensure a peaceful and COVID-free Ganeshotsav this year.

Pune police will be deploying their workforce at fixed-points and there will be some mobile patrolling teams for round the clock bandobast during the 10 days of the festival. Apart from the Ganeshotsav, Muharram will be observed on August 29 too.

Worrying part for the police department is that they won't be receiving any additional force from the state and they will have to manage the entire bandobast for all festivities with a shortage of about 5 to 7 per cent staff. Several policemen have been advised to stay at home in quarantine after they were identified as contacts who had a high risk of contracting the infection.

Pune police have also issued a model code of conduct for the Ganesh Mandals in the city. Police have asked all mandals to not carry out any processions during installing the Ganesh idols or its immersions. Only five people are allowed for puja and aarti in the pandal while the use of masks, sanitiser is made mandatory along with social distancing norms. No special invitee or VIP darshan has been allowed.

Dr Ravindra Shisve, Joint Commissioner of Pune Police has urged the mandals and its workers to follow this code of conduct and the other guidelines. "Ganesh Festival is celebrated in huge grandeur every year, but this year people must understand the grim situation," he said.

Pune City Police

Total strength- About 9000
COVID-19 cases reported- 630 cases
Recovered cases- 150
* Some personnel are home quarantined

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