Restrictions on the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi due to Covid

Restrictions on the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi due to Covid Amidst the fear of third wave of coronavirus in Maharashtra, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday announced a new set of guidelines for Ganesh Chaturthi and has asked the public to celebrate the festival with regard to strict COVID protocols.

In view of this, the government of Maharashtra has strictly banned any physical ‘darshan’ of Ganesh idols or entrance into Ganpati Mandals (associations) for the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi which is usually celebrated at an enormous scale in the state. An earlier government order dated June 29 had permitted physical darshan along with social distancing, but as per the new order released on September 8, darshan via online or electronic medium is only allowed.

The celebrations have been also restricted to just 3 days by BMC. In the guidelines, the BMC as well as the Maharashtra government have asked the people to celebrate the festival in a simple manner, keeping in view the Covid-19 situation in the state. The BMC in its order has stated that it is crucial to celebrate Ganeshotsav by protecting oneself and one’s family from this deadly virus. The BMC stated that there shouldn’t be any procession for the arrival of Ganesha idols. It mentioned that a group of maximum five persons will be permitted for arrival.

Moreover, the persons involved should be fully vaccinated against coronavirus and must have had the second dose before 15 days. It also said that there can be just 10 people at the time of arrival of public Ganesha idols, who will be required to wear masks and follow social distancing., With regard to the celebrations, the BMC has stated that the domestic Ganeshotsav should be made either of shadu or of marble/metal, if possible.

This year, the public also urged to worship the idols in their house rather than the traditional shadu Ganesha idols. This is done to avoid huge crowds during the arrival as well as immersion of the idols. In a meeting, it also mentioned that the Ganeshotsav Mandals must provide facility of online darshan to the devotees or through cable network, or any other social media platforms. As per the instructions issued by the BMC, the public Ganeshotsav Mandals must guarantee that at least Nirmalya is created with the use of flowers/garlands etc, sparingly.

According to the updates, there are around 73 natural immersion sites in Mumbai. In addition, the BMC has also developed a well-managed system of idol collection managed by the Municipal Corporation with an additional staff.

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