TNI Bureau: While the Odisha Government continues to close all religious places/places of worship and prohibit social, political, religious, sports, entertainment, academic and cultural gatherings in view of Coronavirus Pandemic, special guidelines have been issued for observance of Puja festivals.
The following guidelines shall be followed for observance of Durga Puja, Laxmi Puja, Kali Puja and other similar Puja during September, October and November, 2020.
👉 To conduct Puja in Puja Pandals/Mandaps, the organisers need to apply and obtain necessary permission from the District Magistrate or any other officer authorised by him/her.
👉 For Commissionerate area of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, the permission will be given by the Commissioner of Police or any other officer authorised by him/her.
👉 Puja(s) shall be conducted in indoor-like condition only for observance or 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.
👉 The size of idol shall be less than 4 feet.
👉 There shall be no use of public address system.
👉 At any point of time, there shall not be more than 7 persons including organisers (Kartas) and priests and support staf 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 organisers 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 musical or any other entertainment programme.
👉 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 on accordance with the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Regulation issues thereunder besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC and other legal provisions as applicable.