Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Tuesday imposed restrictions on the ‘Boita Bandana Utsav’ and mass bathing on the day of Kartik Purnima (the fifteenth lunar day of Hindu month Kartik) at river ghats and other water bodies on account of Covid-19 pandemic.

An order issued by the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) also stated that Bali Yatra which is organised at different places including Cuttack, Paradip and Bhubaneswar on the same day will remain prohibited. The government has banned these activities in public interest as such congregations have large potential for the spread of COVID-19 infections, it added.

In exercise of the powers conferred under section 24(1) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the State government has directed that “congregation at river ghats / near other water bodies to take bath and sail miniature boats on the occasion of Kartik Purnima on 30th November 2020, conduct of Bali Yatra on the said occasion or on the days following and all other congregations relating to Kartika Purnima and Bada Osha shall remain prohibited throughout the State.”

Any person found violating the government will be liable to be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws, the release added.

Earlier this month, the government had imposed restrictions on Chhath Puja celebrations and mass bathing at river banks on November 20-21 due to the pandemic situation. People were advised to avoid mass gatherings and perform Puja in houses in adherence to the Covid-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing, mask-wearing, and hand washing.