Maharashtra CM urges Mandals to limit the height of Ganesh Idol due to Pandemic

Maharashtra CM Uddav Thackeray

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday appealed to all Ganesh mandals in the State to restrict the Ganapati idol size to four feet, observe austerity in celebrations, and follow safety norms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exactly after two months, on August 22, the auspicious festival of 11 days Ganesh Utsav will be started.

The freedom fighter of India Lok Manya Bal Gangadhar Tilak turned this private household festival to a public event. We have been celebrating Ganesh Utsav since 1893.

The maximum height of Ganesh idol ranges from 18 to 22 feet in Mumbai. It is a touchy issue. Ganesh festival organizers of Pune, Mumbai had held a meeting with Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Friday.

Mr. Thackeray said, “Extravagant celebrations and huge Ganesha idols are an attraction of the festival in Mumbai and Pune. But we will have to avoid them at least this year. I have held talks with representatives of mandals from different parts of the State, and we unanimously agreed to celebrate the festival with discipline and safety.”

The maximum height of Ganesh idol ranges from 18 to 22 feet in Mumbai. And a huge number of people assemble every year at the large idols t attend Aarti. Due to the pandemic this year the crowd needs to be controlled even in pandals too.

The CM said it has also been unanimously decided to restrict the height of idols to four feet. “In the case of bigger idols, the manpower required to increases. We need to avoid crowds. We will have to prevent crowds even in pandals. Even the immersion will have to be performed with as few people as possible.”

He said the Dahi handi festival, too, has been canceled this year.

“We could not organize the annual pilgrimage of warkaris. Such actions are an example of Maharashtra’s commitment to social work and discipline,” he said. Dahi handi organizers such as Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik have donated 1 crore to anti-COVID-19 fund instead, he said.

“We have to celebrate the festival with discipline and safety, and crowding has to be avoided at all cost,” he said.

The tallest of the Ganesh murtis ranges between 18 to 22 feet in Mumbai, where the annual festival draws a huge crowd. “Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have to celebrate Ganeshutsav simply. Devotion to the Lord Ganesha is more important…