Guwahati: The ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival began on Friday. It is usually celebrated with great fervour in Maharashtra. But for the second year running, the celebrations will have to be low-key on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Maharashtra government has imposed several restrictions to avoid festival-related gatherings and processions over the next ten days.
RESTRICTIONS IN MAHARASHTRA
Physical ‘darshan’ of Lord Ganesh at community pandals has been banned. Instead, only online ‘darshan’ and live telecasts from pandals are allowed. Additionally, not more ten people (who have to be fully vaccinated) will be allowed to bring in the idols at pandals. At home, the maximum number of people is five.
The height of idols that can be installed has also been restricted. Idols installed at pandals cannot be more than 4 feet high and those installed at home can be a maximum of two feet high.
The administration has put restrictions during immersion of the idols as well.
RESTRICTIONS IN MUMBAI
In Mumbai, there are around 12,000 sarvajanik (community) mandals and nearly two lakh homes where idols of Lord Ganesh are installed.
WHAT’S NOT ALLOWED
With the imposition of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the assembly of five or more persons is prohibited in Mumbai for ten days. No processions of any kind are allowed during this period.
Devotees are not allowed to visit Ganesh pandals. ‘Mukh darshan’ (seeing idols by visiting pandals in person) is not permitted anywhere in the city. No public cultural events are to be organised during these ten days.
Those who violate these orders will face action under section 188 (disobeying order lawfully promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.
WHAT’S ALLOWED THEN
All prominent Ganesh pandals will offer online `darshan’ facilities. People can, hence, have ‘darshan’ of Ganesh idols installed in pandals either online or through other electronic media such as TV.
Only priests and organizers have been permitted to reach the mandal. They performed the morning aarti.