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No Garba to be allowed in Mumbai this Navaratri, BMC issues new guidelines for pandals

Sep 30, 2021

The BMC in its SOP caps the number of people allowed in pandals, recomneds the height of the idol to be installed among other rules. Read here

Mumbai: Ahead of Navratri celebrations, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday (September 30, 2021) issued new guidelines advising citizens to celebrate the festival in a simple way. The decision was taken amid growing fears of spread of  COVID-19 and dengue cases.

Online darshan is encouraged but physical darshan will be allowed with COVID-19 safety protocols in mind. The SOPs issued — on the same lines as the restrictions imposed for Ganesh Chaturthi, limits the number of people allowed in pandals and procession. 

Here’s what’s allowed and what’s not:

* No garba allowed.
* 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.
* 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.

The government urged people to use clay idols over plaster of Paris, and immerse the idols at homes or in artificial ponds created by civic bodies. Also, BMC pointed out that noise pollution should be reduced to a bare minimum.

Meanwhile, Mumbai on Wednesday reported 527 new coronavirus cases and six deaths, the total caseload rose to 7,42,538, and death toll is at 16,103.

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