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Odisha bars devotees from assembling at puja pandals during festive season
Odisha bars devotees from assembling at puja pandals during festive season

The Odisha Government has decided to cut down the puja festivities to contain the possible spread of Coronavirus. The accordingly has allowed different puja committees to conduct the Durga, Ganesh, Laxmi, Kali puja, on pandals in "indoor-like" conditions only for observance of rituals without any public participation, an official order said.

Prioritizing the health safety criteria, the State government on Monday issued Puja observance Standard operating procedure (SOP) debarring the devotees from hopping the puja pandals as it had done last year to contain the pandemic spread.

“It is hereby directed that congregations for the celebration of Ganesh Puja, Durga Puja, Laxmi Puja, Kali Puja, and other similar festivals shall not be allowed in public throughout the State. However, religious rituals in churches, temples, mosques, and places of worship will continue as usual with a limited number of persons with strict adherence to Covid protocols”, the notification issued by the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) stated.

Puja Mandaps 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/ devotees,'' the order said.

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