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Pradeep Singh

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has released strict guidelines for Makar Sankranti and Pongal celebrations in the Capital city of Odisha in view of the rising Covid-19 cases.

As per a BMC release, congregations at river banks, ghats, ponds and other water bodies to take bath on the occasion of Makar Sankranti / Pongal are prohibited up to January 16. 

The BMC has also strictly prohibited organisation of Makar Mela/ Meena bazaar etc. "All religious places/places of worship shall not allow public till 16.01.2022 inside their premises for offering Puja/Darshan on account of Makar Sankranti/Makar Mela/Pongal," said the BMC. 

However, the usual rituals in the religious institutions can be conducted with bare minimum priests/servitors who are fully vaccinated.

Besides, religious congregations and celebrations are also prohibited till January 16, 2022.

Earlier in the day, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) had earlier released a set of restrictions that will be promulgated across Odisha to check congregations during Makar Sankranti and Pongal.

The SRC, in an order, urged people to perform the rituals/ puja on the occasion of Makar Sankranti/Pongal at home with family members only avoiding mass gatherings and adhering to the Covid-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing, use of face mask/covering and hand washing.

All religious places/ places of worship will remain closed for public on Makar Sankranti/ Pongal/ Makal Mela day(s). However religious rituals are allowed with bare minimum priests/ servitors and staff, the order stated.

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