With only two weeks left for the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi to begin, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is taking all necessary measures to ensure that celebrations take place smoothly. Against the backdrop of COVID-19, a major challenge for the civic body is ensuring that social distancing is maintained and the spread of coronavirus is prevented.
After two rounds of meeting with all stakeholders in the last fortnight -- from tghe police to the Ganesh Puja Mandal -- the civic administration has decided to create a large numbers of artificial lakes or ponds to avoid unnecessarily gathering in one place.
Under the NMMC’s jurisdiction, there are 23 major idols immersion ponds where the maximum idols are immersed -- whether it is Ganpati or other festivals. Civic chief Abhijit Bangar has directed all eight ward officials to create a large numbers artificial ponds so that people disperse to different places and people can avoid gathering in one place.
“More artificial lakes will be constructed at places that would be convenient for the citizens, especially in view of non-congestion on the day of immersion,” said a senior civic official. He added that the Executive Engineer of all the departments and deputy municipal commissioners of the concerned departments have been deputed for the work.
The civic chief has also directed officials to conduct a survey of possible places in coordination with the assistant commissioner and police officers and take necessary measures. The civic body has also welcomed NGOs and mandals should they wish to take initiative for the creation of artificial lakes.
As per the circular issued by the Government of Maharashtra, this year the height of idols should be up to 4 feet for Ganpati Mandals and up to 2 feet for domestic Ganpati idols.
In order to keep the sanctity of the festival, offerings like garlands, flowers, sweets and coconut will be properly segregated for disposal. “Segregation of waste will be a continuous process at the immersion sites so that offerings get respect,” said the official.
Similarly, the Panvel Municipal Corporation has also appealed tp citizens to use sand made idols that can be immersed at home and there will be no risk of contamination in water. In addition, the civic body will also emphasize on online darshan through Facebook Live, cable TV network and other digital channels.