Thane Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar has urged the Ganesh mandals in the city to avoid lavish celebrations this year and instead, contribute funds to help those affected by the recent floods in Maharashtra.
Heavy rains and floods battered several areas of western Maharashtra and Konkan region earlier this month, with Kolhapur and Sangli districts bearing the maximum brunt. The deluge claimed around 58 lives in western Maharashtra.
The 10-day long Ganesh festival will commence on September 2. It is one of the biggest festivals in Maharashtra and preparations are in full swing for celebrations this year, Phansalkar noted. "But, in view of the recent floods in Kolhapur, Sangli and other places, I appeal to the Ganesh mandals to reduce their expenses wherever possible and help the flood victims," the official said on Tuesday.
He said the police would ensure smooth conduct of the Ganesh festival as well as Muharram, which would be observed on September 10. Phansalkar was speaking at a function to felicitate the Ganesh mandals which excelled in organising the festivities and spreading across a good message last year.
Thane Mayor Meenakshi Shinde, Joint Commissioner of Police Suresh Mekhla and other senior police officials were present on the occasion.