Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

Bhubaneswar: In view of spike in COVID-19 cases, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday issued guidelines imposing restrictions on Pana Sankranti celebrations tomorrow.

The Civic Body has prevented gathering at different religious places. As per the guidelines, residents of Bhubaneswar will not be able to celebrate Pana Sankranti publicly and can’t distribute ‘Pana’ to others.

The rituals of Pana Sankranti can be observed only at shrines and other religious places and the temple priests can conduct the puja within the temple premises. However, participation of common man in the celebration is completely restricted, the guidelines said.

“The temples which observe Pana Sankranti celebrations and distribute ‘Pana’ among the devotees every year will not be allowed to do so this year. Any type of celebration in public place is not allowed,” said BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Choudhary.

Similarly, restrictions have been also been imposed for Ramzan month which is to be followed throughout the holy month. The BMC will release Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the same.

Mosques can allow congregation of only 50% of the hall capacity for offering Namaz within their premises. Alongside that, using masks and sanitizer and maintaining social distance must be strictly followed.

Earlier, the Relief Commissioner had released a set of guidelines regarding the same. The Civic Body will implement the restrictions as stated in the guidelines, informed the BMC Commissioner.

“For Ramzan Month, we have discussed with the stakeholders to make appropriate arrangements of offering ‘namaz’ on Friday following the COVID guidelines. The devotees will have to use masks and maintain at least a distance of 6 ft from each other within the hall,” said Choudhary

(Edited By Ramakanta Biswas)