By Imna Longchar
Dimapur (Nagaland), Sep 15: Dubbed as the “Festival of Festivals”, the annual Hornbill festival where the last edition was celebrated in a complete virtual mode only through various audio visual media channels and social media platform, is likely to be celebrated at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, Nagaland.
An official bulletin stated that the Nagaland government intends to celebrate/organize the annual festival this year if the COVID-19 situation in the state continues to remain under control with positivity rate below 5 percent.
This was discussed on the sideline of Nagaland government’s review meeting of the High Powered Committee (HPC) on Covid-19 held on September 13 under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, where it was also decided to extend the existing lockdown measures and guidelines from September 17 to 30 (Unlock-6) with further additional relaxations.
Stating that the activities would be undertaken with full adherence to COVID-19 protocols, the bulletin also informed that travel to Nagaland for tourism is already allowed for those who have been fully vaccinated while pre-bookings in hotels and other facilities may be done by intending tourists.
Further, in order to kick start the preparatory activities for the hornbill festival, an inter-departmental meeting have been convened with the departments of Tourism and the Art & Culture on the September 23.
Meanwhile, according to the new lockdown measures and guidelines issued by Nagaland Home Department, 100 % attendance is permitted in all the Government offices subject to adherence to COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, and fulfillment of the existing requirements for vaccination or testing for attendance in office.
The guidelines stated that conduct of regular classes in all schools in the rural areas of the State for students of Class V up to Class X would be allowed with 50% attendance and adherence of all the provisions of the SOP to be issued by Home Department while with regard to the urban areas of the State, all the schools for the students of Class V up to Class X would be allowed to open for regular classes, with 50% attendance from October 1, subject to adherence to all the provisions of the SOP to be issued by the Home Department.
Night curfew to be relaxed by an hour and to be in force from 9 pm to 4 am, the home department guidelines also mentioned that the respective District Task Forces (DTFs) to be allowed to decide on the timings for opening of shops and other business establishments within their respective jurisdictions outside the night curfew timings.
It also added that swimming pools and cinemas would be allowed to open with 50% capacity subject to adherence to SOP to be issued by the Home department, and offline classes for the Polytechnics for the session July-December 2021 to be allowed to open subject to compliance of SOP issued for re-opening of colleges and technical institutions for conduct of regular classes for students as applicable.