Maharashtra issues curbs for Ganesh Chaturthi: what’s allowed, what’s not

Amid the looming threat of a third wave of COVID infections, Maharashtra government has urged citizens to keep the celebrations low-key.

The Maharashtra government has imposed few restrictions on public gathering and festivals amid the pandemic situation. This year too government has asked mandals to provide online darshan facility, curbs on height of idols and a ban on processions are among the guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government today for the 11-day Ganeshotsav festivities starting September 10.

As the third wave of the virus is around the corner, the government has urged all the citizens to keep the celebrations low-key. This will be the second year when the pandemic has discarded the grand Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in the state. Even last year, the government issued several guidelines to make sure the festivities do not lead any hike in COVID-19 cases.

In the notification by the state government said that the processions on the first day of the festival and on the day of immersion won’t be allowed. The guidelines add that for public festivities, organisers will need proper permission from local authorities. They also stated that the festival should be celebrated in a simple manner.

The height of Ganesh idol should not exceed 4 feet for public pujas and 2 feet for home pujas. The guidelines also stated that if possible, people should worship metal, marble or clay idols at home. The guidelines also urged citizens that instead of cultural programmes, organisers are expected to arrange health and blood donation camps.

It also said that social distancing should always be followed and puja areas should be sanitized regularly. Currently, Maharashtra has 1.1 lakh active COVID-19 cases and is recording about 7,000-9,000 cases daily.

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