Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the country and looming fear regarding the third wave of the virus, states and cities, have issued guidelines for the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, which begins today.
Citing the COVID-19 situation, police has imposed orders under CrPC section 144 in Mumbai, prohibiting assembly of five or more persons during the Ganesh festival between 10 September to 19.
No processions of any kind would be allowed in the city during this period and devotees would not be allowed to visit Ganesh pandals either, an official statement said.
All prominent Ganesh mandals would be offering the online `darshan' facility, police said.
Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure empowers the authorities to issue prohibitory orders for preventive purposes.
Mumbai on Wednesday recorded 530 new coronavirus cases, highest since mid-July. On Thursday too, the financial capital recorded 458 new cases.
— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) September 9, 2021
People can have `darshan' of Ganesh idols installed in pandals through the online mode or through other electronic media (such as TV), the police release said.
Any person violating the orders would face action under IPC section 188 (disobeying order lawfully promulgated by public servant) and other relevant laws, it said.
City police commissioner Hemant Nagrale also issued a video message, appealing Mumbaikars to observe safety precautions during the festival.
A surge in COVID-19 cases has been observed in Mumbai and neighbouring areas in the last few days, he pointed out.
All prominent Ganesh mandals in the city have made arrangements to offer online darshan facility, and the permission for `mukh darshan' (seeing idols by visiting pandals in person) is not given anywhere, Nagrale added.
Also, no public cultural events should be organised during the festival, the police commissioner said.
The Karnataka government has allowed partial celebration of Ganesh Utsav in the state, with COVID-19 norms and conditions in place. While no immersion or visarjan of the idol will be allowed post 9 pm, pandals have been given an okay.
Associations have been permitted Ganesh Utsav festivities for a maximum of five days, and cultural programmes have been completely banned. However, pandals can be erected, but not more than one Ganesha Pandal can be erected in each ward.
To curb the rise of COVID-19 cases, the state government has banned public celebration in border taluks where the Test Positivity Rate is found over 2 per cent. Apartment associations can hold public celebrations within the apartment premises, but only 20 people can gather at a time.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government has also, as a precautionary measure, banned public celebrations of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
Advising the people to celebrate the festival at home, the Delhi government has prohibited the installation of Lord Ganesha’s idol in tents, pandals or public places.
The AAP government has also not given its nod to procession or gathering in connection with the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations.
The Andhra Pradesh government too has banned the public celebrations on Ganesh Chaturthi.
The people have been asked to stay away from going for idol immersions in processions.
The night curfew will continue from 11 pm to 6 am across the state as a precautionary measure.
The Tamil Nadu government has extended the lockdown restrictions till 6 am on 15 September and celebration of religious festivals, including Ganesh Chaturthi, is prohibited in public places during the same period.
People have been advised to limit the celebrations to their homes. The devotees are allowed to leave their idols near temples. Besides, the permission for immersion of the idols will be given to individuals but a procession is not permitted.
With inputs from agencies