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BMC issues new guidelines ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in Mumbai

BMC will allot QR-code based permission & time slots for immersion at Girgaum Chowpatty to stagger crowds.

Ahead of the festivities of Mumbai's extravagant Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, the BMC has issued fresh guidelines to prevent the spike of another COVID wave here. Special norms for darshans as well as visarjan have been established in the city to ensure maximum safety against the spread of the virus. All celebrations will be observed in a simple manner- with a focus on the implementation of the state devised norms.

Online or token based darshan at Ganpati pandals

As per the latest norms, all Ganapati Mandals across Mumbai have been urged to promote online darshan for devotees to prevent excessive crowding at iconic pandals. The Mumbai Police has further asked for the establishment of a toke system and scheduling if devotees wish to physically attend the pandal.

Both systems will ensure social distancing during the festive celebration, minimising the threat of virus transmission through physical contact. It is compulsory for all visitors to wear a face mask while they are visiting the pandals for darshans.

QR based visarjan at Girgaum Chowpatty

Besides this, a detailed order has also been issued with respect to controlling and managing the crowd during the immersion ceremony. The 10-day Ganpati festival will begin on September 10 this year, and visarjans will be permitted on the 2nd, 5th and 11th day of celebration. Here, the maximum number of immersions will be lined up on the last day, added reports.

All immersions will be conducted by the BMC officials only, where mandals and individuals will have to hand over their idols to civic officials for the same. Like last year, the people can book a time slot for the immersion of idols at the Girgaum Chowpatty. The BMC has decided to generate QR-code permission via a digital application, which will be scanned at the collection point of idols the Chowpatty.

The BMC had used confirmation messages last year which lead to several cases of duplication. The QR-code permission will eliminate chances of any forgery, ironing out the process. As of now, the online booking for immersions is only planned for the Girgaum Chowpatty. Other collections points will be set up near beaches and near natural water bodies only. Aartis or pujas will not be permitted at any collection point, the BMC ordained. Venerations, aartis or pujas will not be permitted at any collection point, the BMC ordained.

'Special 13' to be deployed across 13 Mumbai divisions

Meanwhile, BMC has joined hands with the Mumbai Police to ensure ordered citizen compliance with the prescribed pandemic protocols. As per an announcement on Thursday, a 'Special 13' task force of the police will be deployed across each of the 13 divisions in Mumbai, which will take action against people who do not wear a mask or flout the guidelines.

Each police squad will have one senior police inspector, one API, two PSI and 11 constables. This team will also monitor and ensure that the local police stations are undertaking directed measures and actions against those violating norms.

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