Ganpati festival: BMC bans physical darshan, restricts participation in processions
The Mumbai civic body has issued fresh guidelines for the Ganpati festival beginning from Friday and has banned physical darshan for devotees at public pandals and imposed restrictions on the number of participants in processions during celebrations. For bringing the idols and during their immersion, there will not be over 10 people in the processions of public mandals, the BMC said in the guidelines.
All devotees should wear masks and observe social distancing
"There will not be more than five people allowed in the processions of household Ganpatis," the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) further said in the guidelines issued on Tuesday. "All devotees should wear masks and observe social distancing. Also, the 10 participants should have taken both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine and completed 15 days after taking the second dose," the guidelines said.
Ganeshotsav mandals should provide darshan facility through social media: BMC
"Considering the potential danger of a third COVID-19 wave, devotees are strictly forbidden from taking darshan. It has been decided that Ganeshotsav mandals should provide darshan facility to devotees through cable network, website, Facebook or (other) social media," the civic body said.
Devotees in sealed buildings should make arrangements for home immersion
"The mandals falling in COVID-19 containment zones will have to make arrangements for the immersion of Ganpati idols in the pandal premises or postpone it. Similarly, in sealed buildings, devotees will have to make arrangements for immersion of idols at home," it said. "If a house/building is declared a containment zone, the rules for it should be followed during the festival," the BMC said.
Restrictions on celebrations imposed for second year in a row
The civic body has already restricted the height of the household Ganpati idols to two feet and for the public mandals to four feet. The cap on the height of the Ganpati idols and restrictions on the celebrations have been imposed for the second year in a row to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
Strict action would be taken if rules are violated: BMC
BMC also appealed to people to avoid any action that may lead to COVID-19 spread and said in case of any violation of rules, strict action would be taken under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Epidemic Diseases Act, and the Disaster Management Act.
On Tuesday, Mumbai reported 353 new COVID-19 cases, two fatalities
On Tuesday, Mumbai reported 353 new COVID-19 cases and two fresh fatalities, which took the infection tally to 7,47,078 and the death toll to 16,000, as per official data. The number of sealed buildings increased to 49 from 44 on Monday. The civic body seals buildings or declares containment zones if at least five persons there test positive for the coronavirus infection.