July 01, 2020 (Mumbai) Lalbaugcha Raja, the biggest crowd-puller from Mumbai’s 11-day Ganpati festival, has been cancelled for this year amid the pandemic outbreak. This is a first in Lalbaugcha Raja’s 87-year history.
“We have decided to not celebrate the Ganesh festival this year. We are going to celebrate it as a health festival. This decision has been taken in view of the pandemic. In those 10 days, we will organize a blood donation camp and an awareness camp to promote plasma donation. We will also felicitate the families of policemen and army men who gave their lives for the country. We are also donating Rs 25 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Fund for fighting the pandemic,” said Sudhir Salvi, secretary of the Lalbaug Mandal in a phone interview.
“This year we will not be keeping any idol otherwise people will throng to see it,” Mr Salvi added.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had recently thanked all religious communities for showing restraint during the lockdown that included several festivals.
The Ganesh idol at Lalbaug in Parel area of Mumbai dominate over the most others in the city and is able to draw the record braking crowd in the annual festival.
The development is coming a day after another crowd puller Dahi handi festival cancelled in the wake of the pandemic in Mumbai.
Since the COVID-19 spread in the state of Maharashtra, Wednesday was the first in days where the state recorded below 5000 cases. Mumbai also recorded below 1000-mark for the first time since the pandemic outbreak hit the city.