Hyderabad: The 10-day long Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations began here on Monday.
Beautiful pandals have been erected at almost every nook and corner of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. According to a rough estimate, nearly 50,000 Ganesh pandals have been erected across the city. Ignoring the appeals of the authorities to reduce the size of the idols, this year too, the organisers have installed giant Ganesh idols at several places in the city.
The Khairtabad Ganesh Idol has maintained its record of being the tallest Ganesh idol in the city with an added attraction of a massive four-tonne 'laddoo', prepared by a sweet maker at a village near Rajahmundry.
However, the eco-friendly Ganesh idols being promoted by the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority found many takers this year. The HMDA has appealed to the public to use clay idols, reduce the size of the other idols and immerse the smaller idols at the household level, maybe in a bucket or tub of water, and then use the water for gardening.
The HMDA has also promoted collective celebrations at significant locations of the city, instead of doing it at every community level and then immerse the idols at an artificial pond. The NGOs - Save and Sukuki Exnora too have been playing an active role in making clay idols with an aim of reducing pollution in Hussainsagar Lake.
The Hyderabad City Police has made unprecedented security arrangements to ensure peaceful conduct of the 10-day long festival. Beside the regular force, additional security personnel have been deployed across the city for the smooth conduct of the festival.