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Navratri 2021: BMC issues SOPs; says '4-ft idol height, no flowers or sweets and more'

According to an official notification, idols will only be 2 or 4 feet tall, and pandals will be forced to obtain prior authorization.

Navratri 2021 BMC issues SOPs says '4-ft idol height, no flowers or sweets and more' gcw
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Mumbai, First Published Oct 1, 2021, 1:55 PM IST
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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) published Navratri rules and standard operating procedures (SOP) on Thursday. According to an official notification, idols will only be 2 or 4 feet tall, and pandals will be forced to obtain prior authorization. The mandaps must be cleaned three times each day, and no flowers or sweets are permitted. There will be a limit of five individuals permitted in the mandap and mask, and social distance will be required.

Online darshan is recommended, however, physical darshan will be permitted if Covid safety procedures are followed. According to officials, no 'garba' events would be allowed during the festival. Garba is a famous Gujarati folk dance performed by followers during the Navratri holiday. Devotees should immerse household idols in their houses if they cannot go to the nearest immersion spot put up by the local authorities.

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Only five individuals can participate in the immersion of family idols, while ten devotees can participate in those placed by communal groups. People participating in immersion should be appropriately vaccinated against coronavirus in both situations, according to the official. People will not be permitted to sink idols, which must be turned over to BMC authorities at immersion locations.

The notification came only a day after Delhi approved events, including Ramleela festivities, throughout the forthcoming festival season as long as they adhered to Covid guidelines. The decision was made during a meeting presided over by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. "After a comprehensive discussion with specialists, the necessity to carefully observe and enforce Covid-appropriate behaviour (CAB) was emphasized, particularly in light of the impending Christmas season, to prevent any return of infection," Baijal tweeted following the meeting.

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Mumbai announced 458 new coronavirus cases and seven fatalities, bringing the city's total case count to 7,42,996 and death toll to 16,110. There is currently no Covid-19 containment zone in the city, although 46 buildings have been shut to prevent the spread of the virus.

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