Ganeshotsav 2020: Maharashtra govt issues guidelines for mandals, restricts height of Ganesh idols

To curb the spread of coronavirus pandemic and respect people’s faith, the Maharashtra home Department issued detailed guidelines on Saturday asking all Ganesh mandals to keep the 10-day festival a low-key affair. All mandals will have to take prior approval from the concerned municipality or local authority. As directed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the maximum idol height has been capped at 4 feet for public Ganeshostav and 2 feet for in house celebrations.

The Mandals have been asked to organise health camps, blood and plasma donation camps in order to create awareness about cleanliness and hygiene. Further, Mandals should organise Ganesh darshan online or through cable network, website and facebook to curb crowding.

As per these guidelines, the Mandals have been asked to keep the decoration simple. As far as idols are concerned, the department has suggested worshiping metal or marble idols at home and the immersion of environment friendly idols and those made up of shadu mitti be preferably done at home or in artificial ponds. This is necessary to avoid crowding and thereby curb spread of virus infection.

The mandals have been asked not to display advertisements to avoid crowding. The mandals will have to strictly follow pollution control norms. It will be mandatory for all Mandals to put in place disinfectants and thermal screening and they will allow the visitors by adhering to social distancing rules.

The BMC has published the guidelines for the upcoming Ganeshotsav. The online window for permit registration is open from July 10 and civic officials will accept applications till August 19. There are 12,000 public Ganeshotsav Mandals that acquire permits from the civic body every year.

Considering the limited time available, the civic body has stated the Mandals which were allowed last year, will be given immediate permit this year, on the basis of last year's permit and they won't be required to send application to the local police station and traffic police branch.

The civic body highlighted offering of 'Prasad' and flowers will not be allowed this year keeping the Coronavirus pandemic in mind, and setting up temporary stalls in the vicinity of the Mandap will also be prohibited.

At a time only five workers will be allowed inside the tent and each Karyakarta will have to wear a mask compulsorily. The civic body highlighted there will be a maximum of ten people around the idol on the occasion of its arrival and there shouldn't be any procession on the street.

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