Religious places in Chandigarh ready to welcome devotees with safeguards in tow - Hindustan Times
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Religious places in Chandigarh ready to welcome devotees with safeguards in tow

Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByRajanbir Singh, Chandigarh
Jun 08, 2020 01:36 AM IST

Taking various steps, shrines are going the extra mile to make the devotees’ visit safe

Eleven weeks after they were closed following the Covid-19 lockdown, religious places are all set to reopen on Monday while adhering to the guidelines issued by the UT administration to prevent the spread of the virus.

Devotees using an automatic hand sanitiser machine at the Phase 4 gurdwara in Mohali on Sunday.(Gurminder Singh/HT)
Devotees using an automatic hand sanitiser machine at the Phase 4 gurdwara in Mohali on Sunday.(Gurminder Singh/HT)

Apart from ensuring social distancing and provision of hand sanitisers and infrared thermometers, as mandated in standard operating procedures (SOP), the various religious institutions are going the extra mile to make the devotees’ visit safe.

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IDOLS TO REMAIN OFF LIMITS AT TEMPLES

President of the Sector 40 temple and chief of the Hindu Parv Mahasabha in the city, BP Arora said, “Idols will be kept off limits using barricades and ropes. People will also not be allowed inside the Shiv Mandir at any temple. They can pray outside only. Besides, we will not distribute prasad or langar for the time being.”

Meanwhile, the ISKCON temple in Sector 36 will not be opening on Monday. City head Nand Maharaj said, “It will take us about a week to abide by the rules before we can open. We are short on volunteers to ensure social distancing within the temple.”

POLYCARBONATE SHEETS FOR KNEELING AT GURDWARAS

At the Sector 19 gurdwara, the management has placed polycarbonate sheets to facilitate people kneeling before the Guru Granth Sahib.

“Unlike carpets, the sheet can be regularly cleaned with sanitiser. Also, we will continue to use disposable meal boxes for the langar service as we have been doing for a month,” said Tejinder Pal Singh, president of the Sector 19 gurdwara committee.

The Sector 8 gurdwara has decided to do away with langar and prasad for now. “We will also stop water supply to taps so that people don’t touch them. Shoe room will remain closed, but racks will be placed outside the gurdwara to place shoes in,” said Ravinder Singh, president of the gurdwara committee.

ONE PERSON PER BENCH AT CHURCHES

Father Premanand, president of the Tricity Churches Association, said there will be a limit on the people allowed inside a church at a time. “Also, only one person will be allowed to sit per bench and children below 10 years and seniors over 65 years won’t be allowed entry,” he said, adding that the congregation will receive the Holy Communion while maintaining social distancing.

INDIVIDUAL MATS AT MOSQUES

Mosques, which stayed closed through the holy month of Ramadan, will also open up on Monday. Here, devotees will have to bring their own prayer mats, as the SOP discourages the use of common mats.

Maulana Ajmal Khan, head of Jama Masjid in Sector 20, said, “We will ensure all directions in the SOP are followed. Devotees must wear face masks. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers will be provided at the entrance, but not kept inside.”

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