WITH the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic looming large over the upcoming Ganesh festival, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on Wednesday prohibited Ganesh installation and immersion processions and urged local residents to instal idols at their home.
“Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly… if we don’t want the virus to spread, we should avoid celebrations. There should be no installation or immersion processions in the city,” said Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar.
Urging people to celebrate Ganesh festival at home, the PCMC chief said, “People should install Ganesh idols at their home, do the pooja and make arrangements for immersion inside their home… the PCMC will not make any arrangements in the river ghat area for the immersion”.
PCMC Additional Commissioner Santosh Patil said the PCMC is not going to give permission to mandals to set up pandals. “We are expecting local residents and mandals to install Ganesh idols at home. They should immerse Ganesh idols in barrels which have clean water, unlike river water which is not clean. They can use sodium bicarbonate, in which the idol gets dissolved in two days,” he said.
Patil said the Ganesh idols should not be more than four feet in height. “That is the norm set by the state government. We have also urged local residents to ensure that the height of idols does not exceed the permissible limit and there is no violation of the government guidelines,” he said.
As for the 800-bed jumbo hospital which was supposed to start functioning from Thursday, Patil said, “A few things still remain to be done, especially the installation of the oxygen tank. I think it will take some more time to get the jumbo hospital operational”.
PCMC, PMRDA and PMC are jointly setting up the hospital. “PMRDA is in charge of the construction part. The hospital will be run by a private entity but it will be supervised by the PCMC,” said Hardikar.
Meanwhile, the PCMC chief has quarantined himself as his personal secretary has been found positive for Covid-19.