Bhubaneswar : In a big announcement, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation today released Covid guidelines for the upcoming Ganesh Puja festival.
As per the notification, Congregation on the occasion of Ganesh Puja shall not be allowed in public within BMC jurisdiction. The Puja Committees/ Organizers can conduct Ganesh Puja at Mandaps/ Pandals by adopting all COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing, wearing masks, proper sanitization etc. for which they have to obtain permission from the Officer duly authorized by the Commissioner of Police.
Similarly, The puja shall be conducted in indoor like condition only for observance of rituals without any public participation, pomp and grandeur.
Besides, the Mandaps/ Pandals shall have to be covered on three sides and one side to be opened only for the purpose of use by the priest for rituals. The fourth side should also be covered properly so as not to allow any public view/ darshan of the idols by devotees. while, the idol size should be less than 4 ft and public address system shall not be used during puja or any other time.
At any point of time, there shall be not more than 7 persons allowed including the organizers/ priests/ Kartas/ support staff etc. at the Pandal/ Mandap. And all those present shall have to follow strict COVID-19 protocols like social distancing, wearing masks appropriately etc. The organizers shall ensure that only those who have been fully vaccinated are allowed for the observance of puja, read the official order.
Further, there shall be no immersion procession by the organizers. The idols will be immersed in artificial ponds to be created by the BMC for this purpose, it added.
Meanwhile, in educational institutes/ coaching institutes, Ganesh Puja will be observed by following the above norms. The maximum number of participants will be 20 and all will have to adhere to COVID-19 protocol. No feast/ prasad sevan will be allowed. The Head of the educational/ coaching institute shall ensure that those above 18 years of age are fully vaccinated to be present on this occasion.