Ganesh visarjan is always a tough time for law enforcement. It's a massive gathering of hundreds of people in various locations around the city.
Not only is that hard to police, it's hard to watch for emergencies too. But this time, the Mumbai Police has help thanks to technology.
Vodafone Idea Limited is reportedly helping the Mumbai police on Ganesh Visarjan days this September by providing them with drones for surveillance. The drones have been active at visarjan locations across the city on Sep 6 and 7, and will be patrolling the next two days as well.
The drones, which are equipped with cameras, will be patrolling the three prominent visarjan locations of Juhu Chowpatty, Girgaon Chowpatty and Ashish Talao Chembur. Over 15 lakh devotees, are expected to attend the celebrations there over these few days.
The high-def cameras on the drones will allow police to monitor the situation and the crowds closely, and the video feed will be live-streamed across Vodafone's 4G network to the Mumbai Police's state-of-the-art control room.
"Mumbai Police appreciates the support provided by Vodafone Idea and looks forward to such associations in the future," a spokesperson from Mumbai police said.
It's not just troublemakers police have to watch out for after all, though there will likely be plenty of those given the massive crowds. More often though, they have to watch the crowds immersing the idols at beach locations. With the rains still coming down, the seas can be rough, and all it takes is one slip up and you can be dragged far out into the water.
Then there are also other unforeseeable risks, like a stampede, riot, or mob violence, which can be incited by the most mundane of reasons at times. So drones will help the police keep an eye on the situation, as well as monitor for areas where traffic might be adversely affected, keeping their manpower in reserve for if and when they're needed in a specific location.