It’s that time of the year when chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ fill the air. Preparations are on in full swing in Mumbai which is set to celebrate the Ganapati festival with all its pomp and grandeur after two years of celebrations being marred by restrictions necessitated by the Covid pandemic.
The government of Maharashtra, a state which is known for its grand Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, had decided not to impose any restrictions on the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations starting August 31.
Last two years, due to Covid outbreak, the erstwhile Uddhav Thackeray government restricted the height of idols to four feet. However, the Shinde-led government has now removed the height restrictions on idols and also allowed processions. The Maharashtra government, meanwhile, has also constituted an expert committee to draft a policy for eco-friendly celebration of festivals in relation to immersion of idols in natural bodies. The six-member committee has reportedly been asked to suggest alternative material to Plaster of Paris (PoP) for making eco-friendly idols and submit its report in three months.
GANPATI FESTIVAL DATES
The Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganpati festival begins on Ganesha Chaturthi or the fourth day and ends on Anant Chaturdashi or the 14th day of the fortnight as per the lunar calendar.
This year, the 11-day festivities begin on August 31 and end on September 9. While public pandals mostly observe the festival for all 11 days, many people bring in Ganpati at their homes for one and a half days, three days, five days and seven days.
NO RESTRICTIONS FOR GANESH CHATURTHI CELEBRATIONS IN MAHARASHTRA THIS YEAR
The Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government last month announced it has decided not to impose any restrictions on the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations starting August 31. The state has also removed the height restrictions on idols and allowed processions.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had also directed the state administration to repair the roads through which the processions of Ganesh idols are going to pass. He asked officials to to waive toll tax for the devotees travelling to Konkan from Mumbai and also directed the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation to operate adequate buses during the festival.
“We could not celebrate the festival in the last two years owing to Covid-19 as there were several restrictions. But this year, we have decided to celebrate it without any restrictions. Considering this, we have issued directives to the police and the district administration to ensure it is celebrated smoothly and social harmony is maintained,” Shinde told reporters after the meeting.
-Lalbaugcharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal of Lalbaug: One of the most famous pandals of Mumbai is Lalbaugcharaja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal of Lalbaug. Founded in 1934, Lalbaugcha Raja (King of Lalbaug) is undoubtedly the most famous and one of the biggest Ganesh statues in Mumbai which has grown to be the most visited one in the city.
This year, Lalbaugcha Raja mandal will be setting up a replica of Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir.