Aurangabad: Over 1,600 Ganesh mandals in Maharashtra's Parbhani district have not installed idols of the deity during the Ganpati festival this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This has been done to avoid crowds and to check the spread of the viral infection in the district, Collector Deepak Muglikar told PTI on Monday.
Last year, 1,680 Ganesh mandals registered with the district administration for conducting the celebration. This year, none of them installed the Ganesh idol, he said.
The 10-day Ganesh festival this year began on Saturday under the shadow of coronavirus.
"We had appealed to people to help the administration in curtailing the Ganesh festival celebration this year. As a result, there has been no public installation of Ganesh idols in Parbhani," the collector said.
In Aurangabad also, the festival celebration has been subdued in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, 1,524 mandals registered for the celebration in Aurangabad's rural areas and 522 of them implemented the concept of 'one village one Ganesh' (collective celebration of the festival).
This year, the number of mandals which installed the Ganesh idols has come down to 446. Out of these, 208 have implemented the 'one village one Ganesh concept, Superintendent of Police Mokshada Patil said in a release.
Celebrations are low-key this year and contributions from businessmen and shopkeepers have also reduced, Aurangabad Ganesh Mahasangh president Kishor Tulsibagwale said.