Collectors, Municipal Commissioners asked to limit number of devotees at temples during ‘Mahashivratri’

Bhubaneswar: In view of the pandemic situation, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office today directed the District Collectors and the Municipal Commissioners to restrict congregations and gatherings of persons at temples to the number that the administration feels appropriate during the ‘Mahashivratri’ festival on March 1.

In an order, the SRC office stated the Collectors and Municipal Commissioners can take the decision after considering local situations and space available within temples and its premises, and adherence to the Covid-19 safety protocols must be ensured.

Melas and congregations outside and within the temple premises may be restricted so as to avoid mass gatherings and crowding. Devotees must ensure Covid-19 safety protocols such as wearing of face masks, physical distancing and hand washing and hand sanitizer, the SRC order mentioned.

Considering local conditions, the District Magistrates, Municipal Commissioners and Police Commissioner, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack may impose appropriate restrictions on entry of devotees into temples, religious places and places of worship and in the celebrations in temples and religious places and places of worship.

Any person found violating the order shall be punishable under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws, the SRC office added.

As per schedule fixed at a meeting between servitors and Lingaraj temple’s executive officer, Mahadeep will be raised atop the Lord Lingaraj temple here at 10 PM on Mahashivratri.

On Saturday, Odisha recorded 293 fresh Covid-19 cases, which is the lowest this year.

The state had registered 228 cases on December 31.

With the death of another four persons due to Covid-19 in Odisha, the total death cases rose to 9,056.

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