Durga Puja amid Covid in West Bengal, govt releases new guidelines

Durga Puja amid Covid in West Bengal, govt releases new guidelines

Pandals shall have to be spacious and should be kept open from all sides. If in case it becomes essential to have a closed ceiling, the sides will have to be kept open.

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Durga Puja amid Covid in West Bengal, govt releases new guidelines

West Bengal government on Wednesday issued detailed guidelines for Durga Puja. According to new rules, pandals would be kept open from all sides and no cultural program will be held. State immersion carnival will not be held this year.

Spacious open pandals with separate entry-exit gate: Pandals shall have to be spacious and should be kept open from all sides. If in case it becomes essential to have a closed ceiling, the sides will have to be kept open. There should be separate entry-exit arrangements with separate gates. Mingling and crowding should be avoided at all places, the government said in its notification. 

No cultural programme: Cultural programmes in/near the Puja pandal premises shall not be allowed.

Decongested rituals: Puja organizers must keep volunteers in adequate numbers for ensuring compliance with the norms of physical distancing among visitors for enforcing the wearing of masks and use of hand sanitizers. Anjali Prasad Bitaran or Sindoor Khela should be organized by Puja Committees in a planned manner and to the extent possible in smaller groups with spaced-out timings in a staggered way.

Priests should use microphones to utter the mantra so that the sound reaches worshippers standing even far away and people do not have to assemble closely in small spaces.

Low-key inaugurations and immersions: Inaugurations and immersions should be low-key and minimalist events without much pomp and grandeur. Wherever possible, the inauguration should be in virtual mode.

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