GUWAHATI: In the view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kamrup (M) Administration of Assam on Monday released guidelines for the upcoming "Chhath Puja" celebrations in the district.
The administration held a meeting with the Chhath puja committees of senior police officials. In the meeting, various decisions were taken for the puja celebrations in the capital city.
According to the guidelines released, the citizens have been asked to maintain the basic COVID-19 protocols i.e., wearing masks and social distancing -- which are to be followed strictly.
The order further stated that a maximum of five members of a family will be allowed to perform the rituals at a time.
Additionally, the Kamrup (M) administration has cancelled all the cultural programs and mela this year.
The puja committees have been directed to take prior permission from the concerned ADCs before organising the pujas.
The District Administration has asked the Inland Water Transport Department to restrict the movement of private boats and ferries during puja, and to maintain proper rescue boats in case of a probable mishap.
No extensive decorations or pandals have been allowed this year in view of the ongoing pandemic.
Every Chhath puja site has been asked to mandatorily have medical professionals and ambulances ready for an emergency. The health department of Assam has also been asked to provide the needful.
Chhath puja will be organised at Brahmaputra riverfront (Uzan Bazar to Bharalumukh), Sunsali, Pandu ghat, Maligoan Railway stadium, Birubari fishery, Basistha, Lalmati, Khanapara Farmgate, Hatigoan, Jyotikuchi, Narengi, Pathar Quarry, Narengi, Azara, and Chandrapur.
Many states in India have decided to ban organising of Chhath Puja. The Jharkhand government has decided to ban organising of Chhath Puja celebrations on the banks of water bodies. Kolkata and New Delhi governments have also imposed restrictions on the celebrations this year.
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