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Thursday, September 16, 2021

No visitors allowed inside Ganpati pandals: BMC

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said on Friday that organisers should arrange for online darshan through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and cable/local TV channels.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
Updated: August 27, 2021 9:24:48 pm
Ganesh chaturthi, ganpati utsav, bmc, Ganpati pandal, no visitors allowed in Ganpati pandals, Indian express, indian express newsA list of guidelines for the 11-day festival, slated to be held from September 10 this year, was issued by the state government on June 29. (Express photo by Prashant Nadkar)

Similar to the guidelines issued last year for Ganesh Utsav in the view of the pandemic, the BMC has directed that visitors will not be allowed inside Ganpati pandals this year. Five people only, including volunteers and pandit, will be allowed inside the pandals.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said on Friday that organisers should arrange for online darshan through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and cable/local TV channels.

“There have been demands to allow vaccinated individuals inside pandals. However, no such approval has been provided. We are following the state guidelines, in which large pandals have been asked to ensure that there is no crowding at their locations to create a facility for online darshan,” said Harshad Kale, deputy municipal commissioner, zone 2.

Some police stations in the city have asked organisers to submit an undertaking stating that pandals will be sanitised every one hour, and offerings like flowers and garlands are prohibited. Mumbai Police has also stated that permission for food/prasad distribution or installation of stalls for the same will not be given.

“BMC or the state government guidelines have not stated anything about restrictions or flower/garland offerings and prasad distribution. We are awaiting clarity on the same. We have also asked for permission to allow vaccinated devotees to visit the pandals,” said Naresh Dahibavkar, president, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshostsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS).

A list of guidelines for the 11-day festival, slated to be held from September 10 this year, was issued by the state government on June 29 stipulating cleanliness, fumigation, sanitisation, no crowds at all venues — public or community or private — with special attention to the health of children and senior citizens. The idol size has been capped at 4 feet.

The state had issued a 13-point charter asking people to observe the festival in a restricted and simple manner. Instead of cultural programmes, organisers have been asked to arrange health and blood donation camps.

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