Odisha imposes restrictions on congregation of devotees during Pujas & Festivals

Odisha imposes restrictions on congregation of devotees during Pujas & Festivals

Bhubaneswar: August 9: Due to Covid Pandemic, Odisha Government imposed restrictions on congregation of devotees during the celebration of Ganesh Puja and other festivals in the state till November.

This year’s Pujas & Festivals to be held in August, September, October and November, shall be held without the congregation of devotees.

So, people of the State have to celebrate Puja like Ganesh Puja, Durga Puja, Laxmi Puja, Kali Puja and festivals of other religions without the devotees.

As per the order, congregations for celebration of the said festivals and associated religious and cultural congregations will not be allowed in public throughout the state.

But, religious rituals in churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship will continue as usual with strict adherence to Covid protocols.

For conducting Puja in Puja Pandals/Mandaps, the organisers shall apply to and obtain necessary permission from the District Magistrate or any other officer authorised by him/ her,” said State Special Relief Commissioner in a notification issued on Monday.

“For the area under Commissionerate of Police of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, such permission shall be given by the Commissioner of Police of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar or any other officer authorised by him/ her,” the notification added.

Puja(s) shall be conducted in indoor-like condition only for observance of rituals without public participation, pomp and grandeur.

Puja Pandals/ Mandaps shall be covered on three sides. The 4th side shall also be covered in a way not to allow any public view of the idols. There shall be no darshan by public/ devotees.

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The size of idol shall be less than 4 feet and there shall be no use of public address system.

At any given point of time, there shall not be more than 7 persons including organisers (Kartas) and priests and support staff present in the Puja Pandal/ Mandap.

The persons present at Puja Pandal/ Mandap shall follow all Covid protocols of social distancing, mask use, personal hygiene and sanitation issued by Central/ State Government/ Local Administration in letter and spirit.

The organizers and other persons involved in conducting the Puja shall abide by any other condition(s) as imposed by Local Administration/ appropriate authority.

There shall be no immersion procession. The idols will be immersed in artificial pond(s) created by the local administration for the purpose.

There shall be no religious procession of any kind of any religious community.

There shall be no musical or any other entertainment programme.

Ganesh puja in educational institutions is allowed with participation of limited number of students observing COVID appropriate behavior.

There shall be no musical or any other entertainment programme.
No community feast associated with any puja/ festival during the period shall be allowed.

All the District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners/ Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack shall strictly enforce the above guidelines.

Penal provisions: Any person violating these measures will be liable to be proceeded against in accordance with the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Regulations issued there under besides legal action under Section188 of the IPC and other legal provisions as applicable.


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