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Monday, September 20, 2021

Pandemic impact: PMC bans Ganesh festival procession for 2nd consecutive year

Last year as well, the PMC did not allow the Ganesh mandals to do decorations and urged them to install idols in their respective temples instead of that in pandals.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
August 2, 2021 10:52:41 pm
The Ganesh mandals had approached the Pune Metro as well as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), saying that the elevated stretch crossing the Lakdi Pul is not high enough and will cause problems for the traditional procession of Ganesh immersion in the city. (File)

URGING PEOPLE to celebrate the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi in the city in a simple manner, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has banned procession during the festival for the second year consecutively in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Ganesh mandals can erect pandals as per the instructions of the civic body. Pune is known for its 10-day Ganesh festival that attracts tourists from across the country and abroad. The procession and decorations are the main attractions of the festival.

In an order, issued by Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar, the PMC said the festival has to be celebrated in a simple way as per the state’s direction. The Ganesh mandals have to take permission of the civic body and follow instructions regarding celebrations while maintaining the existing restrictions.

“There should not be a procession during the installation and immersion of idols during the festival. Children and senior citizens should avoid going for immersion,” Kumar said.

The maximum height of idol for those to be installed in Ganesh mandal should be four feet, while the home idols can be two feet, Kumar said, adding that, “If possible, people should install idols made of metal or stone. If the idol is made of sand and environment-friendly, they should be immersed at home, but if not possible, then it should be immersed at the artificial water tank that would be provided by the PMC.”

The Ganesh mandals should not pressurise people for donation and advertising boards should not be put up, Kumar said, adding that the mandals should launch health camps and public awareness programs instead of organising cultural functions. The PMC urged the mandals to ensure live telecast of the festival through cable TV network and social media.

“The pandal area should be sanitised regularly, while a thermal scanning facility should be made available at the entrance. Devotees should enter the pandal wearing masks and maintain physical distance,” he added.

Last year as well, the PMC did not allow the Ganesh mandals to do decorations and urged them to install idols in their respective temples instead of that in pandals. For the second consecutive year, the state has called off the age-old tradition of pilgrimage from Pune to Pandharpur, considering the pandemic. Bakri Eid was also celebrated in a low-key manner.

Mayor Murlidhar Mohol has expressed displeasure over non-relaxations of Covid-19 restrictions by the state in the city despite reduction in daily positivity rate.

“I have been demanding that shops to be allowed to remain open till 7 pm on weekdays and till 5 pm on weekends. There are assurances of doing so in the weekly review meeting but it’s not being implemented. We request the state to take decision on it immediately so that we can provide some relief to traders,” he added.

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