Amid fears of Covid surge, Karnataka permits Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations on a limited scale

While processions and other entertainment programmes have been banned, prior permission will have to be obtained to install Ganesha idols and organise festivities

Notwithstanding fears of a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Karnataka government Sunday decided to permit Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in the state. The celebrations shall, however, be limited to three days as per a decision announced by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Officials have stressed that prior permission is mandatory for anyone from the local district administration or from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (in Bengaluru city areas) to install Ganesha idols and to organise related festivities. “Officials will be deployed to ensure celebrations conclude by 9 pm. It is mandatory that all organisers of the celebration shall be fully vaccinated as well,” a senior government official said.

Processions and other entertainment programmes have been banned as per the recommendations of the state-appointed Covid-19 advisory committee.

The guidelines also specify that the installation ceremony of Ganesha idols should be carried out in a simple manner. Eco-friendly idols must be used and they must be immersed only in places specified by the district administration.

Celebrations have, however, been prohibited in areas that share borders with neighbouring Kerala where the Covid caseload continues to be high.

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