PUNE: Authorities in Maharashtra on Tuesday asked those organising Ganesh festivities to keep the height of public idols at four feet and the domestic ones at two feet, and to celebrate in a simple manner amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The festivity, among the most awaited in the state, is scheduled to begin on September 10, but like last year, much of it will be subdued due to the coronavirus outbreak and resultant restrictions set in place by the government, officials in Pune added.
The guidelines issued by the government also make it mandatory for Ganesh Utsav mandals to take permission from local authorities.
"The idols of public Ganesh mandals should be four feet in height and the domestic ones must not be above two feet.
People should ideally install metal or marble idols, while those made of shadoo clay must be immersed at home or in artificial tanks.
Installation and immersion processions must strictly adhere to COVID-19 norms of masks and social distancing, while display of advertisements and other items that could attract a crowd must be avoided," an official said quoting the guidelines.
The guildelines advised mandals to hold hold blood donation and social awareness camps, and avoid bhajan-kirtan and other mass programmes at the festivity site.
"The restrictions imposed to contain the outbreak will remain in force and no relaxation will be given during Ganesh Utsav.
Mandals should also try to ensure darshan can be obtained by devotees through online mode," the official said.
Mahesh Suryawanshi, a trustee of the famous Shreemant Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Temple here, said mandals would ensure that festivities take place by adhering to COVID-19 norms, but added that the local administration must be allowed to implement rules as per the outbreak situation in the area.