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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Mumbai: Second year in row, no visitor allowed inside Ganpati pandal

Organisers should arrange for online darshan through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter as well as cable and local TV channels, a 23-point charter issued by the BMC said.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: September 8, 2021 7:10:28 am
Work on idols in progress at a workshop in Mumbai ahead of Ganesh festival.(Express photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Similar to the guidelines issued last year for Ganeshotsav in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, the BMC on Tuesday said visitors will not be allowed inside pandals and that all interested in darshan would have to do it online.

Organisers should arrange for online darshan through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter as well as cable and local TV channels, a 23-point charter issued by the BMC said.

It also asked people to observe the festival in a simple manner and follow Covid-19 appropriate behavior.

The circular further asked people not to carry out processions while bringing idols home or to the pandals and on the day of immersion. While BMC has not allowed processions, five persons, preferably those who are fully vaccinated, will be allowed to bring idols for household pujas and also on the day of immersion. For pandals, 10 fully vaccinated volunteers can bring the idols and also carry them for immersion. The civic body has also appealed to organisers to use less flowers and garlands while performing rituals.

While organisers had sought that fully vaccinated devotees be allowed inside pandals, in the wake of rising Covid-19 infections, BMC has completely banned devotees from visiting pandals.

Further, the BMC has increased the number of artificial ponds to 173 this year, as opposed to 167 last year. There were 32 artificial ponds in 2019. Moreover, there are 73 natural water bodies and sites for idol immersion in the city.

Earlier, the BMC and the state government had issued general guidelines on Ganeshotsav, urging residents and mandals to worship small idols this year. While for household pujas, the idol should not be more than 2 feet in height, sarvajanik mandals should not worship idols that exceed four feet.

Ganesh mandals located in Covid-19 containment zones and sealed buildings will have to conduct idol immersions inside their pandals and buildings, respectively. The same rule will apply for idols brought by individual devotees if their homes lie in a containment zone or in sealed buildings.

The festival begins on Friday.

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