Home » Amid Demands, Odisha Govt Denies Any Relaxation In Durga Puja Guidelines

Amid Demands, Odisha Govt Denies Any Relaxation In Durga Puja Guidelines

by RTD Journal
Amid Demands, Odisha Govt Denies Any Relaxation In Durga Puja Guidelines

The Odisha government on Friday issued a decision to take a break from the rules issued regarding the conduct of Puja on mandaps / pandals during the holidays. In a video address to the people of the State, Special Assistant Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Kumar Jena said the height of the Durga statue should remain less than four feet in accordance with the August 9 guidelines issued by the State Government.

Jena said the festive season had begun with Ganesh Chaturthi and, in the same vein, the State government had issued advice on the conduct of Pujas and other festivals (on August 9). ” The guidelines are in the interest of people and we all need to sacrifice,” he said.

Jena’s speech came in the wake of demands made by Odisha opposition parties, the BJP in particular, to provide relief from the epidemic rallies during the Durga Puja festivities, including the release of the cap on the rise of the idols.

BJP requested a band in Cuttack on September 13 over the demands while the same choir grew the band in Bhubaneswar, where Durga Puja is celebrated in public, on that day.

It is pertinent to say here that according to the guidelines of August 9, the Pujas will be held in situations such as indoors only for cultural preservation without public participation, splendor and grandeur. In addition, the Puja pandals / mandaps will be covered on three sides and the 4th side will also be covered in a way that does not allow any public view with images. There will be no public / dedicated darshan and the idol size should be less than four feet.

“We have been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic for the last 18 months and the government is taking all measures to save lives. We have been successful largely due to the government’s active measures and people’s support,” said Jena.

So far, two waves of Covid-19 have been witnessed since March 2020. During the 2nd wave, the State had to strike a balance between life and livelihood while announcing lockdown and partial unlock, he said. “Several sectors are yet to be opened due to which some are still getting affected, but the decisions are being taken in the largest interest of people,” he said.

The second wave of Covid-19, however, doesn’t seem to have been over yet as the cases continue to remain between 30,000-40,000 in India. “In Odisha, the cases are mostly between 650 and 1200 in the last 10-15 days. A new variant of Covid has once again raised fear among countries,” said Jena.

Jena said that Odisha needs to learn from what happened in Kerala where festival Onam led to spread of COVID-19 and the same had happened after Kumbh Mela. However, Rath Yatra was celebrated without devotees, setting an example.

On the eve of Nuakhai, Jena also greeted people of the State, especially Western Odisha, and said that people should celebrate the festival while strictly adhering to the COVID-19 norms and must avoid gatherings.



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