Ganpati idols’ height capped at 4ft by Maharashtra governmentUpdated: Jun 27, 2020, 01:09 IST
After meeting representatives of Mumbai’s public Ganeshotsav mandals, the state government on Friday issued a press release, stating that the height of Ganpati idols are capped at 4 feet. The state is expected to issue a detailed notification on the standard operating procedure soon. Every year, many public Ganeshotsav mandals install idols which are more than 20 feet tall.
CM Uddhav Thackeray previously appealed to the mandals to keep the celebrations for the 11-day festival beginning on August 22 a low-key affair amid the Covid-19 outbreak, to ensure fewer crowds and social distancing norms.
Thackeray held two meetings last week with all the stakeholders, including Ganeshotsav mandals, sculptors and civic authorities to decide on various issues pertaining to the festivities, including the height of the idols, the size of pandals and measures to keep the festivities a simple affair to prevent crowding.
During the meetings, the mandal representatives were asked to reduce the height of idols at pandals to 3 feet this year. The representatives however, requested the state to permit them to install the idols which are at least five feet tall.
“In the backdrop of rising Covid-19 infections, we should organise the festivities in a subdued manner this year. The virus has not spared religion, culture or customs and thus the government is forced to put curbs on religious celebrations. Though tall Ganpati idols and decorations in Mumbai and Pune attract many from across the world, we will have to abide by the social responsibility.”
Sudhir Salvi, secretary, Lalbaugcha Raja Ganeshotsav Mandal, one of the biggest pandals of the city, said they will stand by the government decision but the final decision would be announced after their general body meeting on June 30.
“We already said we will abide by the government’s decision, but we need to officially take the decision during the executive committee meeting. We have our meeting on Tuesday and the decision about the festivities this year amid the Covid-19 outbreak will be taken then,” he said.
The state government already directed the mandals to reduce the size of the pandals and avoid immersions at seas. The mandals also requested the government to simplify the process of permissions from the authorities and to treat last year’s permissions valid this year for the construction of the pandals. Though the state government did not specify the material to be used for the idols, it is insisting to make idols from clay.