As the four-day Chhath Puja kicks off, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has rolled out guidelines for the festival.
Chhath Puja 2020: As the four-day Chhath Puja kicks off, the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has rolled out guidelines for the festival. Widely celebrated Chhath Puja in the northern state of India will be celebrated with COVID-19 guidelines in place to avert the risk of viral transmission. The state government has urged devotees to celebrate the festivals at their homes only. However, while the government has advised performing rituals from home, it has not put a ban on celebrations across the banks of rivers and other water bodies in the state.
For festivities, people have been advised to cooperate with the government and take all necessary measures. People have been asked to maintain social distancing protocols and keep wearing masks during the rituals as the threat of viral transmission is far from over. For this, the government has sought cooperation from people.
In terms of arrangements at ‘ghats’, the Adityanath government said that it will ensure that all arrangements are being made that will ensure a safe space for the devotees. For women, the state government has directed all district administrations to make sure that there are set ups for changing rooms as well as toilets at the ghats. The administrations are further asked to take care of sanitisation, cleanliness at ghats and provision of clean drinking water. Additionally, for emergency purposes, ambulances will also be stationed at the ghats. Meanwhile, police officers will ensure that ponds and river fronts are properly barricaded. CCTVs will also be installed to monitor movement of people and keep social distancing in check.
For people, the government has advised not to go deep in the water bodies and stay within the barricades. They have to adhere to maintaining a minimum distance among each other. While all these measures have been informed by the government, it did not list that people can hold cultural programs or burst firecrackers (which is banned in many states).