The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation on Thursday released a set of guidelines to be strictly followed by devotees and puja organisers during celebration of Ganesh Puja this year amid COVID guidelines in place.
The norms which have been issued in consonance with the Odisha government's August 9 notification lays out several restrictions on public congregation during the puja to procession after the ceremony.
Here are the guidelines:-
No Congregation Of Public: Congregation on the occasion of Ganesh Puja shall not be allowed in public within BMC Jurisdiction. The Puja Committees / Organizers can conduct Ganesh Puja in mandaps/pandals by adopting all COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing, wearing Masks, proper sanitization etc for which they have to obtain permission from the Officer duly authorized by the Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar.
The Puja shall be conducted in indoor-like conditions only for observance of rituals without any public participation, pomp, and grandeur.
The public address system shall not be used during Puja or any other time.
The mandaps/pandals shall have to be covered on three sides and one side to be opened only for the purpose of use by the priest for rituals. This fourth side should also be covered properly so as not to allow any public view/darshan of the idols by devotees.
At any point of time, there shall not be more than 7 persons allowed including the organizers/priests/kartas/support staffs, etc in the pandal/ mandap. And all those present shall have to follow strict COVID-19 protocols like social distancing/Wearing Masks appropriately/ Sanitisation arrangement etc. The organizers shall ensure that only those who have been fully vaccinated are allowed for the observance of Puja.
Idol Size: The Idol size should be less than 4 feet.
No Procession: There shall be no immersion procession by the organizers. The idols shall be immersed in artificial ponds to be created by the BMC for this purpose.
Puja In Educational Institutes: In educational institutes/coaching institutes Ganesh puja will be observed by following the above norms. The maximum number of participants allowed will be 20 and all will have to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.
At any point in time that many participants will be allowed inside the Puja room or space so that social distancing of 6 feet is maintained by all of them subject to a limit of 20 participants.
No partaking of prasad will be allowed of any kind on account of the Puja. The Head of the educational/Coaching institute shall ensure that those above 18 years of age are fully vaccinated to be present on this occasion.