Updated: September 11, 2021 9:19:58 am
Concerned over the steady increase of Covid-19 cases and crowding of markets during the festival season, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has banned in-person worshipping or darshan at Ganesh pandals. The civic body has urged Ganpati mandals to telecast the rituals live so that devotees can watch it online.
“The devotees should be restricted from visiting Ganesh pandals for in-person worshipping of Lord Ganesh and the darshan of the Ganesh idol should be provided by mandals via online or electronic medium,” stated the PMC order. The civic body has modified its guidelines in accordance with revised guidelines of the state government.
Public celebrations of Ganesh festival in the city should be strictly done by adhering to the guidelines issued for it and in a simple manner, said Municipal Commissioner Vikram Kumar.
In its initial orders issued on June 29 on celebration of Ganesh festival, the state government had said that devotees would be allowed visit the pandals by ensuring physical distancing, and usage of masks and sanitisers. However, alarmed at the increasing Covid-19 case numbers in parts of the state, the government has since changed the guidelines and banned devotees from visiting Ganesh pandals.
The civic administration, in accordance with directions of the state government, has already urged local residents to worship the idols from home and avoid crowding at pandals. The Ganesh mandals were also asked to hold health camps instead of organising cultural or religious functions. Any processions for Ganpati festival have been completely banned.
As on September 9, Pune district had the maximum number of active Covid-19 cases in the state — 8,888. Pune city had 2,226 cases, 1,452 in Pimpri-Chinchwad, 4,363 in Pune rural, 60 in Cantonment areas and 787 in Nagar Panchyats.
The administration has already been directed to make preparations for a possible third wave of coronavirus infections by setting up adequate beds and oxygen facilities in the city. The PMC and PCMC have been asked to restart and keep the ‘jumbo’ hospitals ready for treatment of Covid-19 patients.
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