As Ganesh Chaturthi festival starts today, prohibitory orders in Mumbai
Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chaturthi, is the 10-day festival marking the birth of Ganesh and is celebrated with pomp across Mumbai and Maharashtra.
The 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations that will begin from Friday will be muted in Mumbai after the city police banned a gathering of five or more people citing the Covid-19 pandemic and put in several other curbs to be strictly imposed as per government directions. According to a police statement, no processions would be allowed in Mumbai between September 10 to 19 and devotees would not be allowed to visit Ganesh pandals. All prominent Ganesh mandals would be offering virtual darshan facilities, police said.
Deputy commissioner of Mumbai Police S Chaitanya referred to the directives of the home department as well as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in his order. People can have ‘darshan' of Ganesh idols installed in pandals through the online mode or through other electronic media such as TV, the police release said. Anyone violating the orders would face action under section 188 (disobeying order lawfully promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other relevant laws, it said. On Wednesday, the Maharashtra home department issued a circular banning visits to pandals to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Mumbai Police commissioner Hemant Nagrale also issued a video message, urging residents of Mumbai to observe precautions during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival citing the surge in Covid-19 cases in the city as well as its neighbouring areas in the last few days. Nagrale added that all prominent Ganesh mandals in the city have made arrangements to offer an online darshan facility and the permission for mukh darshan or seeing idols by visiting pandals in person is not given anywhere. No public cultural events should be organised during the festival, the police commissioner said. “No crowd will be allowed at any place where public mandals are located. Ganpati idols at homes should not be above the height of 2 feet and public Ganpati idols should not be of more than 4 feet,” said Nagrale.
The Mumbai Police chief also said that processions to immerse Ganesh idols, which usually attract large crowds, would not be allowed and mandals should take all safety precautions allowing not more than 10 people for immersion. The number is restricted to five for household idols.
Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a 10-day festival marking the birth of Ganesh, the god of prosperity and wisdom. It begins on the fourth day of the chaturthi of the month of Bhadra, the sixth month of the Hindu calendar.
Mumbai on Wednesday recorded 530 new coronavirus cases, the highest since mid-July. Maharashtra reported 4,219 new Covid-19 cases and 55 fatalities on Thursday, which have pushed the infection tally in the state to 64,87,025 and the death toll to 138,017. According to an official release, the total number of cases was reduced by 15,066 after the removal of duplication and the number of those discharged was also cut down by 15,793 after the reconciliation of figures.