All shops in Pune to stay shut on Sunday for Ganesh Visarjan: Ajit Pawar
Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said on Friday all shops in Pune would remain closed on September 19 on the occasion of Ganesh Visarjan. However, essential services will remain exempted, Pawar said.
According to news agency ANI, the senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also said that restaurants and hotels will remain open. The shutdown will be effective across Pune city, Pune cantonment and rural areas.
The 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival, which usually sees millions crowding the city streets, is being celebrated across Maharashtra in a low-key manner with several curbs in place amid the unrelenting Covid-19 pandemic.
In the wake of a ban on physical visits of devotees to community pandals (marquees), a lot of mandals in the state have arranged online ‘darshan’ or telecast of their idols through their official websites.
The government has been urging for a muted celebration of the key festival as fears of an imminent third wave of the virus writ large.
Earlier, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had said people's health was more important than any festival and appealed to citizens to launch a strong movement against coronavirus. He said he prayed to Lord Ganesh to destroy all "evil and negativity".
In Mumbai, police have imposed orders under CrPC section 144 prohibiting assembly of five or more persons between September 10 and 19.
No procession of any kind would be allowed in the city during this period and devotees would not be allowed to visit Ganesh pandals either.
While the home department has issued a circular banning visits to pandals, the height of Lord Ganesh idols to be installed has been restricted as well.
(With agency inputs)