Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar

'Ganpati Bappa Morya' resonates the air....It is that time of the year again to bring Lord Ganesha home. With many people bringing Lord Ganesha idols at home and housing societies, the Free Press Journal and Navshakti starting this year will be promoting Eco-Ganesha in association with Mumbai’s Mayor. All Mumbaikars are invited to participate in this prestigious Mumbai Mayor's choice award by celebrating Ganeshotsav in an eco-friendly manner. Spreading our message of 'Save Mumbai--Celebrate Eco-Ganesha', Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar elaborates on how different this year's Ganesh Utsav will be under the ‘new normal’ environment.

Excerpts:

Q: What will this year's Ganeshotsav for Mumbaikars be like?

Mayor: Mumbai's first Covid-19 patient was detected in March. From March till date, various festivals of all religions like Christians, Muslims, Parsis and other communities including Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Jayanti was celebrated. Shiv Sena chief and our Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has appealed to the citizens to keep the celebrations low key, and enthusiasm high. This is the new normal. Mumbaikars have responded to the CM’s call. Ganpati's Bappa's arrival is on Saturday (Ganesh Chaturthi). The celebration will be without the fanfare.

Q: Are only Ganesha idols made of clay allowed this year?

Mayor: With a danger of coronavirus still lurking, we had appealed to the devotees to install smaller and eco-friendly idols.

Q: What about dangerous bridges/ flyovers?

Mayor: Ganeshotsav is celebrated everywhere in the city including Lalbagh, Parel, Worli. However, 13 bridges in Mumbai have become dangerous and while there will be no visarjan processions, we have still restricted devotees from taking these for taking the idols for visarjan.

Q. Even this year pothole-ridden roads are ready to welcome the Lord?

Mayor : Yes, it would be wrong to say that there are no potholes. We are repairing and fixing potholes on a war-footing.

Q. What is your take on Lalbaugcha Raja organisers having decided to celebrate Ganeshotsav as a health festival?

A. Their decision to keep the celebration low-key and focus on everybody’s health is commendable. Other Ganeshotsav mandals like Chintamani to have decided to keep it low-key this year.

Q. What do we pray to the Lord Ganesha?

Mayor: By the time Bappa's arrival came we got good rains in catchment areas. We hope to discontinue the 10 % water cut soon. We also pray that by the grace of Lord Ganesha we will defeat Coronavirus too.

Q: Any message to Mumbaikars on the immersion of Ganesh Idol?

Mayor: Due to the pandemic citizens must avoid crowding at beaches and immersion ponds. Mumbaikars need to strictly follow the rules of social distance, wear face mask, wash hands, avoid crowds.

Q. What would you say about the Covid-19 scenario in Mumbai?

Mumbai: We have managed to bring the situation in Mumbai under control. However, the danger of infection is still lurking upon us.Hence it is advisable to stay home and stay safe.

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