Government comes out with SOP for Durga Puja: Idol size less than 4 feet, Covered pandals, no lighting decoration, no Ravan Dahan

Ranchi: The state government on Thursday came out with the SOPs to be adopted for celebrating the festival of Durga Puja or Dussehra in Jharkhand as per which people have been urged to perform the puja privately at homes to as much extent as possible.

The order said that Puja may also be performed in a specially selected small Pandal where it has been done traditionally only with the objective of performance of rituals without public participation for which the Puja pandals shall be covered on all sides in a way to prevent any public view of the idols, moreover, these pandals would not be constructed on any themes.

The order further said that there shall be no decoration by lighting in the area around the Puja pandal nor welcome gates or Toran Dwar shall be erected in and around the Puja pandals and barring the area where the idol is placed rest of the Puja pandal shall be open to the air. The order clearly said that the size of the idols shall be less than 4 feet and there shall be no use of a public address system and nowhere on Mela shall be organised on the occasion, no food stalls shall be opened in and around the Durga Puja pandal.

The order said that at any given point of time there shall not be more than seven persons including organizers, priest and support staff present inside the Durga Puja pandal. The government has said that there shall be no procession and the idols will be immersed at places approved by the district administration for the purpose.

Further, there would be no music or any other entertainment cultural program or neither any community feast Prasad or Bhog distribution function shall be organised. The Puja committee would also not be extending any invitations and no public ceremony of the function shall be organised for the inauguration of the Pandal, the committees have been also asked not to organise any Garba Dandiya program while the burning of efficiency of Ravan shall not be carried out in public place as it will attract a large crowd.

It has been made mandatory to wear face cover and mask in public places while individuals must also maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places. The persons present at Puja pandal shall follow all COVID-19 protocols of social distancing, mask, use personal hygiene and sanitation.

Further, the organizers and the other persons involved in conducting the Puja would celebrate by any other condition as imposed by the local administration. It has been directed to all the DCs and the SPS to strictly enforce the guidelines issued by the government and any person who would be caught violating these measures shall be liable to the proceeded again in accordance with the provisions of section 51 to 60 of the disaster management act 2005 besides legal action under section 188 of the IPC and other legal provisions.

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