Maharashtra Government revised its guidelines yesterday for the Ganesh Festival considering the threat of the third wave in the state. The government has prohibited public from visiting Ganesh Pandals and Mukh Darshan of deity to avoid crowding and directed Ganesh Mandal organizers to make available online darshan or through other electronic and social media. Restrictions are also imposed on the processions during the festival. A report from our Mumbai correspondent:
Amid fear of the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic, Maharashtra government has banned physical darshan for devotees at the public Ganpati pandals and appealed to citizens to celebrate the festival with simplicity. Ganesh Mandals will have to get prior permission from local authorities and they should erect the pandals properly according to the guidelines of the authorities.
Ganesh idols should be less than four feet tall for Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandals and it should be less than two feet for domestic worship. People should avoid crowding while conducting the programs like Bhajan, Keertan and other religious activities. Processions have been banned while bringing the idols of the deity and during their immersion. Government has advised to create artificial ponds for immersion with the help of civic administration, housing societies, public representatives and NGOs.
The guidelines says that devotees worshipping household ganpatis should try to perform the immersion at home and avoid visiting public immersion sights. All the other restrictions of using masks, sanitizers and follow social distancing are already in place.