Updated: August 25, 2021 8:10:01 am
To prevent crowding during the immersion of idols after Ganesh Chaturthi next month, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said that no processions will be allowed and organisers from each pandal should deposit their idols at collection points. BMC staff will collect the idols from these points and immerse them in naturals ponds or the sea.
The organisers had asked for 10 members from each mandal to be allowed. But just like last year, BMC has banned processions to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“We will set up collection points for idols in each of the 24 wards in the city. The organisers can deposit their idols here for immersion and also head to Chowpatty collection points. However, no processions will be allowed,” a BMC official said.
The mandals have also asked BMC to allow citizens to come to the pandals for the darshan along with online facilities.
BMC official said, “As per the government guidelines, only online darshan is allowed. However, a meeting has been scheduled with the Mumbai Police and the organisers on the topic.”
Like last year, mandal members will have to hand over the idols to the civic staff who will further take them into the water. The civic body has also said that the mandals must follow all the Covid precautions and there should be no crowding at Ganpati sites.
There are over 10,000 Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav mandals in the city. In a meeting held on Monday, following the demands from the Ganesh mandals, BMC has directed the road department to carry out repair work of the arterial Andheri-Kurla Road, ahead of the 10-day-long festival.
A disaster management training will also be arranged for the mandal members. Moreover, the civic health department has been asked to carry out surprise and random inspections of sweet shops and factories in the city.
Last year, BMC had asked citizens and mandals to give preference to the artificial ponds in each of the 24 wards.
Naresh Dahibaokar, president of Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, said, “Last year, many mandals carried out immersion in the artificial ponds while others held symbolic celebrations. However, this year, with many members vaccinated, there have been demands to carry out immersions only at natural water bodies and the sea. We have asked BMC to allow 20 members that are fully vaccinated to bring the idols for immersion.”
Earlier, the BMC and the state government had issued general guidelines on the festival, urging residents and sarvajanik mandals to have smaller idols, similar to last year. While for household pujas the idol should not be more than two feet in height, sarvajanik mandals should ensure that their idols do not exceed four feet.
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