In view of the coronavirus pandemic situation, the Odisha government on Monday banned the gathering of devotees during the celebration of Ganesh Puja and other festivals in the state till November. Chief Secretary SC Mohapatra said in an order that this year Ganesh Puja and other festivals during the festive season will be held without devotees.
SC Mohapatra said that the ban is for Ganesh Puja, Durga Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Kali Puja and other pujas and festivals of other religions which are falling in August, September, October and November of 2021. Mohapatra said in the order that people usually come in contact with each other to celebrate festivals and pujas, during which it is not possible to follow the proper Covid practices and there is a possibility of spreading the virus in such gatherings. .
Religious and cultural gatherings not allowed
The order states that congregations and related religious and cultural gatherings to celebrate the above festivals will not be allowed in public throughout the state. However, religious rituals in churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship will continue as usual with a limited number of people strictly adhering to the COVID protocol. The organizers have to take permission from the competent authority to perform puja in the puja pandals and mandaps.
It is necessary to follow the Kovid protocol in the worship pavilion
The puja can be conducted only in indoor conditions for the observance of rituals without public participation, pomp and grandeur. The size of the idol should be less than four feet and should not use a public address system. The order states that a maximum of seven people have been allowed to be present in the puja pandal and mandap at a time.
Government also banned immersion processions
The persons present in the puja mandap will have to follow all the covid protocols. The government has also banned immersion processions. The idols will be immersed in an artificial pond created for the purpose by the local administration. There has also been a ban on holding of music or any other entertainment program and community banquets during festivals.
Guidelines for Ganesh worship even in educational institutions
Ganesh Puja will be allowed in educational institutions under the COVID protocol with the participation of a limited number of students. warned the government that every person violating this order would be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws.