Ganeshotsav 2021: Maharashtra Government releases guidelines

This year too, the government has decided to celebrate Ganeshotsav or Ganesh Chaturthi in a simple manner. The height of the idols for public mandals and domestic celebrations has been limited to four feet and two feet respectively.

Ganeshotsav 2021: Maharashtra Government releases guidelines

Ganeshotsav or Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the important festivals celebrated in Maharashtra. The state is known for the activities held during the 10-days, however, the government had requested the citizens to celebrate the same at home, in 2020. Public gathering and other activities were prohibited due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Considering the crisis, this year too, people have been waiting for the directives from the government as preparations for the public events and mandals begin months in advance. Understanding the same, the state government, on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, announced the following guidelines for Ganeshotsav 2021.

1. Associations and groups wishing to set up a public mandal for Ganeshotsav will have to seek permission from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

2) Limited mandals will be allowed this year as per the policy decided by the BMC. This has been decided since the festivities are expected to be celebrated in a simple manner, and keeping this in mind, limited decorations will only be permitted.

3) This year too, the government has limited the height of the Ganpati idol to four feet for all the public Ganeshotsav mandals, whereas the height of the domestic idols cannot be more than two feet.

4) Mandals and citizens have been advised to use a a metal or marble idol for worship, instead of an idol made of PoP. Officials have also asked the citizens to immerse the idols at the respective premises or houses. Use of organic materials is encouraged, however, if one is not able to immerse the idol(s) at home, they will have to choose one of the nearby artificial immersion sites for the same.

Also Read: Ganeshotsav 2021: Reservation full for trains going to Konkan

5) Associations have been asked to ensure fewer or no advertisements, and are encourage to set up camps which can benefit the society. Priority should be given to advertising about health and social messages.

6) Priority should be given to planning health related activities or camps instead of cultural programs. Moreover, awareness on hygiene and environment-related aspects should be created.

7) Restrictions imposed by the state government will continue even during Ganeshotsav and shall not be relaxed.

8) When organizing Aarti, Bhajan, Kirtan or other religious programs, associations have been asked to ensure there is no crowding. On the other hand, violating norms drafted to reduce noise pollution regulations have to be followed at all times. 

Also Read: Mandals urge for tall idols amidst reduced COVID-19 cases in the state

9) In order to avoid crowd, associations will have to arrangements for devotees to seek Bappa's blessings online via cable networks, websites, and social media platforms.

10) Adequate arrangements should be made for safety by making sure sanitisers, disinfectants, thermal screening, etc are available at the mandals.

11) Public processions both for arrivals and immersion (visarjan) should be strictly avoided. Devotees celebrating Ganeshotsav at home and willing to use a public immersion site will have to perform aarti at home. Children and senior citizens should avoid going to the immersion site. Moreover, forming groups and crowd during the procession in a building or similar premises should not be taken for all houses at one time

12) Artificial lakes and immersion sites will have to constructed with the help of BMC, various boards, housing societies, people's representatives, NGOs, etc. 

13) All the rules will have to be followed strictly, at all times, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Strict guidelines have been imposed for the same and citizens are expected not to violate the rules during the festivities. 

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