Do’s and Don’ts for Mumbai on Ganesh idol immersion day
For the second year in a row, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has imposed restrictions on immersion of Ganesh idols, to ensure social distancing and Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, as hundreds of Ganeshotsav mandals head to immersion points across Mumbai city.
Devotees are not being allowed to enter the water at immersion sites to immerse the idols, and have to instead hand over the idols at BMC helpdesks, which will immerse them into the sea, or at lakes, or in artificial immersion ponds.
Not more than ten people are allowed at the time of immersion of public Ganesh idols, and not more than five people are allowed at the time of immersion of household Ganesh idols. In addition, those gathering at such immersion spots should be fully vaccinated, and 15 days should have passed since their second dose, according to the guidelines issued by the BMC. It also makes it compulsory to wear a face mask, and maintain social distancing.
While urging children and senior citizens not to be a part of such processions, BMC has appealed to public Ganesh mandals to give priority to the nearest artificial immersion sites, set up at 173 places apart from the 73 natural immersion spots across the city. Harshad Kale, deputy municipal commissioner overseeing these arrangements said, “More artificial immersion sites have been set up this year, to avoid overcrowding, in light of Covid-19.”
BMC has also directed Ganesh mandals to minimise use of garlands and flowers, to minimise generation of ‘nirmalya’ to be disposed of.
The BMC guidelines also urged households to immerse their idols in buckets at home if possible, or prioritise the nearest artificial sites for immersion. Household idols in entire buildings or chawls should not be taken together to such immersion sites to avoid overcrowding at the site, it said.
The guidelines also requested that the devotees should perform the final ‘Aarti’ at home, so that minimum time is spent at the immersion sites.