Odisha govt issues guidelines for puja celebrations

The government issued guidelines for conducting puja celebrations during September-November.

Bhubaneswar : Ahead of the festive season, the Odisha government on Thursday said there will be no public celebrations of festivals like Durga Puja, Laxmi Puja and Kali Puja in the state.

The government issued guidelines for conducting such celebrations during September-November.

“All types of pujas shall be conducted in indoor-like conditions only for observance of rituals without public participation, pomp and grandeur. Puja Pandals shall be covered on three sides. The fourth side shall also be covered in a way not to allow any public view of the idols. There shall be no darshan by public and devotees,” said an order issued by Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy.

The guidelines are issued based on an order of the Orissa High Court.

It said the organisers shall apply to and obtain necessary permission from the District Magistrate or any other authorised officer for conducting puja.

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 authorised officer.

It said the size of idol shall be less than 4 feet.

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, the order said.

Further, there shall be no immersion procession. The idols will be immersed in artificial ponds created by the local administration for the purpose.

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