Other States

After two pandemic years, Maharashtra ready to celebrate festivals without curbs

Low-key: An idol of Lord Ganesha passes by the Gateway of India during Ganesh 
Chaturthi festivities in Mumbai last year.

Low-key: An idol of Lord Ganesha passes by the Gateway of India during Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in Mumbai last year. | Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

After two years of muted festivities in the shadow of the pandemic, the Maharashtra government on Thursday announced that the upcoming Dahi Handi and Ganeshotsav festivals would be celebrated free of COVID-19 restrictions.

“For the last two years, we have been living under the threat of COVID-19 and not been able to celebrate festivals with enthusiasm. So, this year, Ganeshotsav and Dahi Handi festivities will be free of pandemic curbs. The Ganesh mandals should create a vision of social awareness and unity,” said Chief Minister Eknath Shinde after a meeting to take stock of the preparations for the festivals.

“For the last two years, we have been living under the threat of COVID-19 and not been able to celebrate festivals with enthusiasm. So, this year, Ganeshotsav and Dahi Handi festivities will be free of pandemic curbs. The Ganesh mandals should create a vision of social awareness and unity”Eknath Shinde Chief Minister, Maharashtra

Taking a veiled swipe at the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Mr. Shinde said there was all the more reason to celebrate the festivals with renewed vigour as the new ‘Yuti’ (alliance) government, comprising the Shiv Sena’s Shinde faction and the Bharatiya Janata Party, has just been formed.

He said the police and the district administrations have been instructed to maintain law and order and ensure that these two festivals, along with Muharram, pass off peacefully. Authorities have also been directed to fill potholes across the State ahead of the festivals.

The Chief Minister said restrictions have been lifted on the height of idols and ‘oppressive’ terms and conditions for idol makers would be relaxed. He added that Ganesh mandals will not have to pay registration fees.

Adhere to regulations

“Ganesotsav mandals can secure all permissions for pandals through a single-window scheme. At the same time, celebrations across the State should adhere to the regulations set down by the High Court and the Supreme Court. District administrations should appoint nodal officers to oversee the festivities,” he said.

The CM also warned of strict action against those creating noise pollution


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Printable version | Jul 22, 2022 2:21:53 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/after-two-pandemic-years-maharashtra-ready-to-celebrate-festivals-without-curbs/article65666958.ece