Mrunal Manmay Dash

With a view to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the city during the festive season, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) on Tuesday issued guidelines for observance of Ganesh Puja scheduled to be held on September 10 this year.

An order released by the civic body stated that the sacred festival of Ganesh Chaturthi fall on September 10, 2021 and people usually congregate and get close to each other during the revelries during which it is not possible to adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour. Such congregations have the potential to cause the spread of the virus

In the interest of health of the general public and for containment of spread of COVID-19, the CMC order states that all Mandaps must adhere to the following guidelines during the Puja.

For conducting Puja in Pandals/Mandaps, each organization/puja committee will apply and obtain necessary permissions from the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cuttack or any other officer authorised by him.

Puja(s) will be conducted in indoor-like conditions only for observance of rituals without public participation, pomp and grandeur.

There will be no lighting at Pandals. For educational institutions, Ganesh Puja has been allowed with participation of 20 persons including the priest, teaching staff and students at any point of time.

The Puja Pandal/Mandap in non-educational institutions will not be allowed to host more than 7 persons at any point of time including organisers (Kartas) and priests & support staff.

Puja Pandals/Mandaps should be covered on three sides. The 4th side should also be covered in a way not to allow any public view of the idols.

Darshan by the public and devotees has been barred completely.

The size of idol has been set to be less than 4 feet.

The use of public address system has been barred including the Parikrama with regard to the Ganesh Puja.

The persons present at Puja Pandal/ Mandap have been directed to follow all COVID protocols of social distancing, masking, personal

hygiene and sanitation issued by Central/State Government/Local Administration in letter and spirit.

Similarly, the immersion procession has been banned by the CMC too. As per the guidelines, the idols will be immersed in artificial pond(s) created by the CMC. Detailed guidelines regarding site and schedule of immersion will be decided later in consultation with DCP, Cuttack.

There shall be no musical or any other entertainment programme. Community feast associated with Ganesh puja is not allowed. The organizers and other persons involved in conducting the Puja shall abide by any other condition(s) as imposed by Cuttack Municipal Corporation.

Penal Provisions:

Any person violating these measures will be liable to be prosecuted against in accordance with the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Regulations issued under Section 188 of the IPC and other legal provisions as applicable.

Violation of any of the above conditions will attract suitable penal action as per law.