Mumbai: In a bid to discourage people from coming outdoors for immersion of Lord Ganesha idols , BMC's K West ward, which covers Andheri(w), Juhu, Versova and other such areas will be running a vehicle to collect the idols and carry out the immersion on behalf of citizens. The vehicle will visit housing societies in its jurisdiction during the four immersion days during Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
Vishwas Mote, the assistant municipal commissioner of K-West ward made the appeal to the citizens through a letter/circular dated August 10 and asked them to perform symbolic immersion inside their households and hand over the idols to the civic body.
Besides public (Sarvajanik) installation of Lord Ganesha idols, thousands of people in the metropolis install such idols at home and immerse it on four to five different days during the 10-day festival. Ganesh Chaturthi is the most popular religious event in Maharashtra. This year, the festival starts on August 22.
“To avoid overcrowding and for maintenance of social distancing, there is a plan of accepting Ganpati idols at the society gates for immersion. We will send vehicles from society to society in our ward, residents can perform symbolic immersion and other rituals at their household and give the idol to us for immersion. In areas where vehicles are unable to reach, those societies/households can hand over their idols to the nearest Sarvajanik Ganpati Mandal. In this way there will be no crowding, people will not be risking their lives and celebrate the festival too," said Mote.
Earlier on July 24, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which is spearheading Mumbai's fight against coronavirus, had issued a circular stating that only five people should participate in the immersion processions of domestic Lord Ganesh idols during the Ganpati festival in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the circular by the Assistant Commissioner of K west ward has asked people to stay indoors while the civic body will carry out the immersions on their behalf.
Requesting people to refrain from doing any act that leads to the spread of COVID-19, the civic body, in a release last month, had warned that the violators may invite strict action under relevant sections of the Epidemic Act 1897, the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and the Indian Penal Code. The civic body also appealed that the home-installed Ganpati idols should be made using eco-friendly materials and their height should not be more than two feet.
The civic body asked people to carry out immersion of eco-friendly Ganpatis at home. If that is not possible, then idols should be immersed in artificial lakes, it said. The BMC said taking out a common procession of domestic idols from a housing society or building should be avoided.