Public celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi or Muharram barred in Delhi due to Covid-19
Immersion of idols are accompanied by long religious processions during Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Long processions are also taken out during Muharram celebrations.Updated: Aug 16, 2020, 15:46 IST
Delhi Disaster Management Authority has issued instructions to district magistrates and other authorities and field functionaries to ensure that the Ganesh Chaturthi festival is celebrated at homes and no idols of Lord Ganesha are set up in public places. The authority has also denied permission for holding processions during Muharram festival keeping in view the current restrictions on religious gatherings in place to prevent further spread of coronavirus infections.
“During Ganesh Chaturthi Festival, no idol of Lord Ganesha shall be set up in the tent/pandal/public places, nor any kind of permission shall be granted for any procession. People shall be encouraged and advised to celebrate the festival at their home only at this time of Covid 19 pandemic,” the official order states.
Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on August 22 while Muharamm is likely to be observed on August 30. The DDMA order also bans processions on Muharram.
“Similarly, no permission shall be granted for procession/Tajiya during Muharram festival and the public shall be encouraged and advised to celebrate the same at their homes and not at public places at this time of Covid-19 pandemic,” the order says.
The order is in keeping with government’s guidelines for the Unlock-3 phase of reopening of economic and other activities after a prolonged period of nationwide lockdown. The Unlock-3 guidelines that came into effect from August 5 prevents holding of mass religious, political, social or entertainment events due the threat presented by coronavirus pandemic.
However, several places of worship including temples, mosques, shrines and pilgrimages have been allowed to reopen while implementing social distancing, crowd control and other health safety measures required to contain the contagion.
Earlier today, the Delhi pollution control committee had announced a fine of Rs 50,000 for violations of restrictions on Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations including holding large congregations, community celebrations and/or idol immersion at public places in the national capital this year.
Idol immersion in the Yamuna river was banned following an order by the National Green Tribunal in 2015.
The Delhi Police and civic bodies have been directed to check the entry of vehicles carrying idols into the city.
The DDMA order also asks authorities to hold meetings with religious community leaders before these festivals that generally lend to large congregations and mass gatherings and seek their cooperation in enforcing the restrictions and maintaining the law and order.