Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the Chhat Puja, Odisha Government today imposed restriction on celebration of the festival which include mass bathing at river banks in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
Issuing an order, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) said since large number of people congregate at river banks for taking holy bath and performing the puja, celebration of the festival has large potential for spread of COVID-19 infections.
Considering this, the state Government has directed in public interest to prohibit the celebration of Chhat Puja on November 20 and 21, said the SRC in its order.
The state is passing through a critical stage of the pandemic and it is necessary to strictly adhere to all the safety protocols for containment of spread of the infection, the order reads.
“People are advised to perform other rituals in their respective houses avoiding mass gatherings and adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing, mask wearing and hand washing,” it added.
Persons found violating the order will be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws, SRC cautioned.