Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday issued guidelines for this year’s Navratri celebrations. The BMC has capped the height of the Durga idol to 4 feet for public celebrations, and 2 feet for private gatherings.The corporation has also mandated satinisation for mandaps and restricted flowers and sweets inside the pandals. BMC said that they would encourage people to go for online darshan.Also Read - Mumbai Reports Zero Covid-19 Deaths for First Time In 20 Months, Civic Chief Calls it 'Great News'
“At the time of Ganpati, religious places had not opened, so we had not allowed physical darshan. However, now the same will be allowed with the rider that social distancing and all other Covid-appropriate behaviour should be followed. We are, however, restricting garba as that brings people in close contact with each other,” said deputy municipal commissioner Harshal Kale to the Times of India. Also Read - Maharashtra Lockdown: Uddhav Thackeray To Decide Over More Covid Relaxations After Diwali, Says Rajesh Tope
“There will also be no artificial immersion sites and all idols will be immersed in natural immersion sites only. However, the idol will need to be handed to municipal staff at the spot for immersion,” he added. Also Read - Top Safest Countries in The World - Spain, France Are Here But Where Does India Stand?
Here are some of the takeaways from the order issued:
- No garba would be allowed and decorations also should not be very gaudy.
- Mandals to hold blood donation camps or create public awareness regarding vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue instead.
- While conducting any religious ritual of worship, there should not be any kind of crowd gathered around the mandal.
- No distribution of prasad and flowers has been allowed and the setting up of stalls has also been restricted.
- BMC has asked for the darshan of the idols to be done online as not more than five people will be allowed inside in the pandal.
- Those going for physical darshan will be screened for their temperature.
- The main area of the pandal should be sanitised three times in a day, the civic body directed.
- The circular has stated that it would be mandatory for public mandals to take permission of the BMC. The height of the idol has been capped at four feet in case of public mandals, and two feet in case of home idols.
- The BMC has asked citizens to bring environment-friendly or shadu idols, and if possible, try to immerse the idols or perform the ‘visarjan’ in their house itself, so that there are no crowds during the procession.
The BMC has also said that the welcome and the farewell of the idol in case of those brought in residential premises should not be in the way of a procession with more than five persons. Those five should also be wearing masks, ensure social distancing and should have taken both Covid-19 doses and completed 15 days.