FAQ: What Are BMC’s Rules for Idol Immersion in Ganeshotsav?
BMC has released a circular stating that devotees cannot immerse the idols on their own.
Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam/Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Video Producer: Pratyusha Roychowdhury
Ganesh Chaturthi, or Ganeshotsav, is a very important festival for many across the country. However, the festival holds an altogether separate significance for the residents of Maharashtra.
In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, concerns have been raised this year about the potential spread of the infection amid the festivities.
A series of guidelines have, therefore, been issued by the civic authorities, for people to adhere to in order to avoid contracting the virus.
Here’s all you need to know about what guidelines to follow this Ganeshotsav.
When is Ganeshotsav beginning?
Ganeshotsav, this year, is beginning on Saturday, 22 August.
If I can’t immerse the idols on my own, who will immerse them for me?
The idols will be collected and immersed by the civic body. Arrangements for the same have been made, informed the BMC, in its circular.
The circular has asked the Assistant Commissioner to make arrangements for 7 to 8 idol collection centres in every ward. These centres could be playgrounds or the pandals of Ganesh mandals. Citizens will be encouraged to drop off their idols at least 2-3 days before the end of festivities, to avoid crowding.
Where will idols be immersed?
Mumbai has 70 natural ponds, and 167 artificial ones, according to BMC.
“The natural and artificial ponds should be used by the devotees residing in the radius of 1 to 2 km” reads the circular. “Even at such immersion places, devotees cannot immerse the idols on their own.”
What about those living in containment zones?
Permission has been granted for the creation of immersion venues on the premises of housing societies in containment zones.
Can I request a time slot for ‘visarjan’?
BMC has mandated a visarjan time slot and created a website (shreeganeshvisarjan.com) where individuals and mandals can log in and book their time slots.
At present, however, only four wards are listed on the side.
Anything else that I should know?
BMC has asked devotees to perform a pre-immersion puja at home, and then hand the idols over at immersion centres.
They have also asked the devotees to avoid crowding both during, as well as in the run up to, the festival. Representatives and divisional officers have been asked to convince people to bring the idols home three-four days before the festival.
What rules should I be aware of if I reside in Pune?
- The Pune Police has encouraged people to buy their idols online
- There will be no procession at the time of arrival, installation or immersion of idol
- The number of people at a pandal/puja will not exceed five
- Residential societies have been given permission for setting up of water tanks for immersion, as have Ganesh pandals
- Rituals in pandals will be performed only by office-bearers
- Devotees’ visits to pandals will be restricted with an online token system
(With inputs from Mumbai Mirror)
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