Shillong (Meghalaya ), Oct 10 : The ensuing Durga Puja celebrations in the state this year will lackluster as number of restrictions have been put by the district administration in wake of Covid -19.
The major restrictions imposed this year are restrictions on Inter-locality movement, foot procession during immersion ,No sitting down and partaking of ‘prasad’, Only packed dry Prasad will be distributed among devotees and visitors. There will be no serving ‘kichri’ and cooked food.
“People are encouraged not to venture out of the localities/areas. The Puja Committees may cause wide awareness on restricting inter- locality movement. An appeal to be given to devotees by all Puja Committees so that the members remain in their respective localities/areas. Intensive awareness has to be given by the Puja Committees so that people do not visit more than 1-2 pandals,” a SOP from the government said.
The order said that persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home. Puja committees are to advise accordingly.
The statement said measures to be adopted during Puja celebrations to prevent spread of COVID-19 and has been prepared after due consultation with the Central Puja Committee (CPC), Meghalaya.
The Puja Committees have decided to perform only the rituals of the Puja as per Hindu almanac schedule and all idols should be in one frame and maximum height should not exceed 5 feet.
Devotees will not be allowed to touch the idols. Puja and offering of Anjali will be regulated by the organizers.
Pandals are to be kept open to the extent possible to encourage cross-ventilation.
As far as practicable, thermal screening at the entrance of the puja pandal should be undertaken and wearing of masks at all times is a must . Further, the names and mobile of all persons visiting the pandal should be kept by the Puja Committee, to be used for contact tracing, if and when required.
No foot procession will be allowed during immersion of the idols and onlookers/bystanders will not be allowed during immersion.