With the 10-day Ganeshotsav beginning August 22, BMC on Wednesday announced that it will set up 167 artificial ponds for the immersion of Ganpati idols. This is a five-fold increase compared to the 32 artificial ponds set up last year for the festival.
Civic officials said that they want residents to use their nearest artificial ponds for visarjan and take out small processions with a few people to ensure social distancing.
“This year, the situation is completely different. In island city and western suburbs, most of the Ganpati mandals immerse idols in sea or natural ponds. We are encouraging people to use artificial ponds so that crowds can be avoided at seashores and chowpatty,” said an official handling the arrangements.
As per an advisory issued by the BMC last month, while people living in the periphery of sea – about 1 to 2 km – can immerse idols in the sea, others should make use of the artificial ponds. Also, residents living in containment zones and sealed buildings have been asked immerse idols in the mandap itself by creating artificial ponds.
“However, there is no ban on immersion in the sea,” an official clarified.
Earlier, the BMC and the state government had issued general guidelines on Ganeshotsav, urging residents and sarvajanik mandals to worship small idols this year. While for household pujas, the idol should not be more than two feet, sarvajanik mandals should not worship idols that exceed four feet in height.
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