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As devotees around the country gear up to welcome Bappa in their homes on September 10, the Maharashtra Government has issued an order prohibiting Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in public places due to COVID. As per the directive, people are advised to celebrate the festival at home.
"It is prohibited to visit the idol of Lord Ganesha or visit the mandap and the darshan should be made available online or through electronic means," said a statement released by the Maharashtra Home ministry on Wednesday.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar has also urged Mumbaikars to follow 'Mera Ghar, Mera Bappa' (My house, My lord Ganesha) custom and celebrate the festival at home.
Pednekar said, "Being the Mumbai Mayor, I am going to follow 'Mera Ghar, Mera Bappa'. I will not go anywhere nor will I bring anyone near my lord. This is important to curb the third wave in the state."
The Maharashtra government on Monday announced a waiver in paying toll or road tax for private vehicles plying towards Konkan for the Ganesh festival. State Public Works Department (Public Works) Minister Eknath Shinde directed officials to fill potholes on all roads and highways leading to Konkan, within the next two days. The minister said a separate lane should be created for vehicles plying to Konkan to avoid traffic jams.
According to the Maharashtra health department, the state reported 3,626 new cases on Monday and 37 fatalities due to COVID-19. Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are witnessed on a huge scale in Maharashtra, however this year it will remain low-key owing to the pandemic. Notably, the state had recorded a significant spike in Coronavirus cases during the festive season last year.
The Delhi government, on Tuesday, had imposed similar restrictions on celebrations. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said that Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at public places will not be allowed in the national capital in view of the COVID pandemic.
The district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police will ensure that idols of Lord Ganesha are not set up in a tent or pandal. Further, it should be ensured that crowds do not gather at any religious or social place. Permission will also not be granted for any procession, it said.