There will be no Holi celebrations for Mumbaikars who like to enjoy it with grand Holi parties and crowded rain dance gathering every year. The city’s civic body has banned public and private celebration of Holi and Rang Panchmi in the city amid massive spike of covid-19 cases.

In order to ensure strict enforcement of the ban, the BMC has set up 5 teams in each municipal ward to keep a check on those flouting norms, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Suresh Kakani said. “While celebrating Holi we must know that wearing mask and following social distancing becomes difficult, so we have put restriction on it . We have set up 5 teams in each ward and police will also monitor. For those flouting rules, we will request them to follow norms, if they still don’t listen we will take action against them,” he said.

Earlier in the month, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar also requested citizens to stay indoors during Holi amid rising covid cases. “No Holi this year in the wake of rising numbers. If more than five people are found together, then the police will take action,” she said.

Meanwhile, the ban on Holi has irked BJP leader Ram Kadam who lashed out at the Thackeray Government for not letting people offer their prayers to the holy fire during Holika Dahan. Attacking the state government he said, “ The Thackeray government says you cannot celebrate Holi festival. I can understand celebrating with colors can lead to crowding but what’s the problem with Holika Dahan, they say if you light up a bonfire even outside your house, police will take action.”

“My question is where to light the fire then inside our homes? And at the same time other religious festivals are allowed permission. Are they relatives of covid or of this extortionist government? Why is the Thackeray government so opposed to Hindu religion,” he questioned.

While politics over ban is being played out, here’s what the common people had to say about Holi this year.

A 24-year-old stationary owner said, “Grown up might not play Holi this year, but kids will enjoy the festival. We are not celebrating and it’s not allowed in our society either… Ban is good but it’s too late to control the surge… vaccine is the only saving grace.”

Apart from the Holi ban, a night curfew is imposed in Mumbai from 8pm to 7am till 15th April as a measure to fight the covid surge.

Another Mumbai resident said, “It’s wise to stay inside rather than risking yourself by stepping outside during Holi.”

One Dhruvesh Shah, who works as a Digital Marketing Manager said that it’s better to avoid playing Holi. “What if my residential complex sees a spike in numbers and it’s sealed. So it’s better to avoid,” he added.

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