Ganesh Utsav In Mumbai: Smaller Idols, Subdued Celebrations For A Second Year
Four feet idols, no in-person visits for mandals, small gatherings, and only ten fully vaccinated people to participate in getting the idol as well as the visarjan processions
Ganesh Utsav in Mumbai will be a subdued affair for a second year in a row as the threat of the third COVID-19 wave looms over the city.
Beginning on September 10, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a set of guidelines that everyone- households as well as the sarvajanik mandals are expected to follow. The sarvajanik pandals that were famous for getting larger than life Ganesh idols on various themes will have to make do with tiny four feet idols for a consecutive year.
The BMC has also ordered that in-person visits and darshan will not be allowed at the mandals. Each of these groups will have to organise online darshans for people to worship the idols.
Furthermore, to collect the idols from the warehouses only ten people who are fully vaccinated will be permitted to gather on the streets. Even for idols that are brought at individual households, only five fully vaccinated people should come out together.
Household idols are expected to be about two feet tall and should ideally be made from clay. These clay Ganpatis will also help the BMC in driving home the message for promoting eco-friendly celebrations. The civic body has also asked that people should not crowd their houses and should be perpetually masked when guests come over as the city is witnessing a marginal rise of COVID-19 cases.
How Will The Visarjan Be Carried Out?
For so many years prior to the pandemic, Mumbai's beaches were filled to the brim on the last day of Ganeshotsav. This year as it was last year, the civic officials have asked Mumbaikars to be cautious and adopt safer and eco-friendly ways for visarjan.
While the BMC has requested the citizens to bring home clay idols that can be immersed in a bucket, it is also asking people to choose the artificial lakes and immersion points spread across the city on the last day instead of flocking to the beaches. The area covered by the BMC has 73 natural beaches and over 150 artificial points in the city.
Only masked people will be allowed to partake in visarjan activities. If the BMC finds people without masks, they will be fined. The BMC has also emphasised that they will not be any large-scale processions when the city is still dealing with COVID-19. Mumbai is reporting more than 300 positive cases daily.