The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday (8 September 2021) decided to ban Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in the national capital in public places with the view to stop an outbreak of the deadly Covid-19 in the city, which was previously grappled by the devastating second wave of the pathogen. The authority has advised people to celebrate the festival and organise pujas inside their homes.
In an order issued on Tuesday (7 September 2021), the DDMA instructed the district magistrates (DMs) and deputy commissioners of police to make sure that idols of Lord Ganesha are not set up in a tent or pandal. Further, it should also be ensured that crowds do not gather at any religious establishment or social place. No permission will be granted for any sort of procession, it said.
“Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated this month and considering the prevailing restrictions on gatherings and congregations and the present situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been decided that the celebrations of the festival may not be allowed in public places,” the order stated.
“It should be ensured that crowd does not gather in any religious or social place in any manner,” it added.
The authority also directed the DMs and DCPs to arrange meetings with religious and community leaders and Ganesh Chaturthi Festival Samitis before the festival to get their cooperation regarding the maintenance of the law and order and harmony. The general public should to be sensitised towards the same.
Any violations of the order will attract penalty.
On Tuesday (7 September 2021), Delhi recorded one Covid death – the first one this month – and 50 fresh cases of Covid-19. Currently, there are 386 active cases in the city.
Meanwhile, amid the fears of the probable third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, many state governments including Karnataka and Maharashtra have announced imposition of restrictions for the celebrations on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.
The Karnakata government has allowed the celebrations in the state for a period of 5 days with strict compliance to Covid-19 protocols. According to the order issued by the state government of Karnataka, the celebrations have been allowed only in those districts where positivity rate for Covid-19 is below 2 per cent.
“Public celebrations have been allowed only for five days and only 20 people have been allowed to participate in the idol in immersion or any kind of gathering or celebration at a time, following social distancing norms. No celebration has been allowed after 9 pm,” the order stated.
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, the place where the festival is celebrated with full fervour and joy, the Brihannmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asked the public to celebrate the occasion keeping in mind and complying with strict Covid-19 protocol. The BMC also restricted the period of celebrations for three days only.
The BMC stated that there should be no procession for the arrival of the idols of Lord Ganesha. It further said that a group of maximum of five persons will be allowed for arrival. These people should be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and should have taken the second dose before 15 days.