Issuing guidelines for the Ganapati festival, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday said the civic body will collect Ganesh idols from the devotees even at natural visarjan spots and no one will be allowed to immerse the idol on their own to avoid overcrowding.

The BMC statement said Mumbai city has 70 natural idol immersion spots while 167 artificial spots have been created for this year, which is five times more than that of last year.

“It will be mandatory to perform visarjan by following all physical distancing norms and avoid crowding,” the statement said.

The civic body has also appealed citizens to bring Ganesh idols at home three to four days in advance to avoid crowds on streets a day before the festival.

As per the guidelines, the civic body will be setting mobile idol collection centres, where devotees can give their idol after performing final puja at home. The immersion spots can be accessed by those living within a 1-2 km perimeter of them.

“Citizens will not be allowed to do visarjan in natural spots on their own. The concerned ward offices will make arrangements for idol collection where citizens will give the idol and the civic body will immerse the idols by following all the rituals,” the BMC said.

Each ward will have minimum of seven to eight such collection arrangements, which will be set up at open grounds, pandals of public Ganesh mandals and will be publicised well in time. It has appealed to perform final puja of the idol at home, before handing over it to the civic body’s centres.

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