Pandemic dampens this year’s Durga Puja spirit

Pandemic dampens this year’s Durga Puja spirit
(L) Devotees inside a Puja pandal and (R) crowd of celebrants outside Durja mandir at Marwaripatti, Dimapur on Saturday.
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, OCT 24 (NPN) | Publish Date: 10/24/2020 1:27:30 PM IST

Against the backdrop of government restrictions due to current pandemic situation, Durga Puja celebrations this year has become a low key affair.

The state government had issued certain guidelines as per SOP due to COVID-19 pandemic in order to ensure public safety. Temporary pandals have been disallowed from being erected on and by the side of any street. As per government guidelines, puja pandals are allowed to be set up only in temples. Also setting up of mela/food stall or stalls selling any items etc. in and around puja pandal has been banned.

A maximum of 30 persons including organizers and priests will be allowed to gather at any time in the puja pandals. Puja organizers have been directed not allow any person to enter the puja premises without face cover/mask and washing/sanitizing of hands. 

The government warned that any violation of the guidelines would attract action as per legal provisions against the puja committee/organizer or the individual/devotee as the case may be. However, in some places in Dimapur, crowds of celebrants were seen moving freely without adhering to SOP guidelines. 

It may be mentioned that distribution of wet prasad to devotees have been disallowed. Organisers have been asked to ensure sanitising the premises before opening and after closing and every 6 hours during the day.  As per guidelines, no permission for any immersion procession would be given under any circumstances. 

It stated that maximum of ten persons would be allowed to complete the ritual of immersion. All visitors to puja location would be subject to thermal scanning by puja organisers and no person with any symptom related to COVID-19 would be allowed to enter the puja pandals.

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