Amidst the rising demand for opening temples and allowing the celebration of festivals by BJP, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the MVA government is not against any festival but against COVID-19.
The chief minister's stand was echoed by Pune police while issuing guidelines for celebrating Ganesh Utsav, one of Maharashtra's most patronised events, with people being asked to keep the festivities simple amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Police asked people to opt for online purchase of idols, with the height being capped at four feet for those being installed at public sites, and two feet for the ones being placed in homes.
There is the threat of third wave and days after the Centre’s advisory to Maharashtra for the imposition of additional curbs ahead of Dahi Handi and Ganpati festival due to the possibility of a third wave of Covid-19, Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the government was mulling a night curfew.
Keeping the government advisory in mind, the Pune police guidelines state that mandals must avoid inviting VVIPS or other invitees, while the area of the festivity must be kept sanitized, with equipment for thermal screening etc being deployed.
"No big processions at the time of installation and immersion of idols must take place in the city. Only five people will gather at a time to perform aarti and members of mandals must adhere to social distancing. There must be facility of online darshan of the deity to avoid crowding," said Pune Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisave.
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