Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday appealed to the Ganesh mandals in the state to restrict the height of the idols to four feet. A decision in the matter, the CM said, has been taken after holding the consultations with the Ganesh mandals.
“Due to the increasing cases of Covid-19, we have to celebrate the Ganesh festival in a simple manner by following all social-distancing measures. Devotion is more important than the height of the idol. So, the height of the idol should be up to 4 feet and there should not be any crowding during the festival,” Thackeray said in a statement issued by his office.
Last week, Thackeray had held meetings with Ganesh mandals to discuss celebrations of one of the major festivals in the state.
Height of the idols and shows are the major attractions in Mumbai and Pune during the 10-day Ganesh festival that will commence from
August 22 this year. Some of the mandals in Mumbai have had 20 to 25-foot-high Ganesh idols last year.
There are around 14,000 major Ganesh pandals in the city.
Sources said that while the Ganesh mandals had demanded that they be allowed to keep height of five feet, the government wanted it to restrict it to three feet. So, the four-foot height restriction has been finalised as a middle path, said sources.
“A large number of devotees are required to carry idols for immersion… We will have to avoid this and there should not be any crowding at the pandals, which should be smaller and simpler. The immersion of the idols should be done with fewer crowds and by following all norms,” the CM said.
He also added out that the coronavirus pandemic had impacted all the sectors and several religious places had been shut across the country to avoid crowding as “there is no other way than this to save lives”.
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