Bhubaneswar: Wait is over for devotees in the Odisha Capital city as the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) today decided to reopen religious places and the places of worship for them from August 23. While issuing guidelines for the reopening of the places of worship, the city municipal corporation stated the Covid-19 protocol must be followed at the religious institutions once they reopen.
The detailed guidelines are as follows:
1. All the temples of Bhubaneswar within the jurisdiction of BMC will reopen with strict observance of COVID-19 safety protocols. However, no devotee shall be allowed inside the Garva Griha of the temple area and will be allowed “Darsharn’ from a safe distance only. There shall be no offerings like bhoga etc in the temple. As per specific instruction of the State Government, the Shree Lingaraj Temple Administration. Bhubaneswar can take appropriate decision for opening of their temple on or after August 23.
2. At Lord Lingaraj Temple at any point of time maximum of 100 devotees will be allowed from Singhadwar to Ada- Katha. The Sahan darshan/Garvagruha darshan will be completely prohibited. Similarly no offering to the Lord shall be accepted by the Sebayats and only Darshan will be allowed. BMC will do the necessary barricading outside the temple and handover to the Police for control and restriction on the movement of the public.
3. Similarly all other religious institutions like Mosque/Church/Gurudwara will also be allowed to open from August 23.
4. The religious institution authorities shall ensure devotees shall maintain social distancing of 6 feet among them. In no case social distancing norms should be allowed to be violated.
5. At any point of time not more than 25 persons will be allowed to be congregated at any religious institutions like Temple/Mosque/Church/Gurudwara.
6. All Temple/Mosque/Church/Gurudwara authority shall ensure RT-PCR testing of their priests/sebayats and only RT-PCR negative and Final COVID vaccination certificate holder will be allowed to perform rituals. The Priests/Sebayats shall have to put on mask at all times as per COVID protocol.
7. All devotees will have to wear mask and maintain social distancing of six feet from each other appropriately at all times. .
8. The Temple/Mosque/Church/Gurudwara authorities shall make provision for hand washing/hand sanitizer for the devotees at the entry and exit points.
9. Spitting inside and outside the premises and chewing of PAN /Ghutka is strictly prohibited.
10. The person with SARI/ ILl like symptoms shall not be allowed inside. Other vulnera.ble group of people such as person with co-morbidities. old age persons. pregnant women or children below 18 years of age are advised not to visit religious institutions.
11. The above guidelines shall be followed scrupulously by all concerned until further order. Any deviation will attract withdrawal of this permission for that institution.