The state government, on Friday, issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the organization of upcoming festivals like Navratri, Dussehra, Sharad Purnima, Diwali, New Year, while clarifying that it will not allow any type of Garba anywhere in the state during Navratri and that people can install idols in public and worship it maintaining social distance norms.
The SOPs were declared by an official release from the government. Later, while interacting with mediapersons, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that the decision regarding the SOPs was taken Thursday night in a meeting of the core committee. He also said that the decisions were taken considering people’s religious sentiments and suggestions of medical associations.
As per the release, the government decision declaring the SOPs will come into force from October 16. According to the SOPs, people can install idols/photos of goddesses and worship the same in public. “However, neither touching the feet of the idol or photo or distribution of prasad is allowed,” stated the release.
It added that maximum 200 people will be allowed to participate in such programmes the duration of which must not exceed one hour and that permission of local administration will be required for the same.
The release also declared that during the upcoming festive season conditional permission will be granted to organise social, educational sports, entertainment, cultural and religious programmes in areas which are not declared as containment zones.
The conditions for such programmes include strict implementation of six-foot physical distance with marking on floor in that regard, proper face cover during the entire programme, provisions of thermal scanner/sanitizer/oxymeter and periodic sanitsation of mike and chairs. Prohibition on spitting and consumption of paan/gutkha during such programmes is also part of the SOP declared by the state government.
The release said that if such programmes are organised in hall, hotel, banquet, community farms, auditoriums, the number of attendees must either be half of its capacity or maximum 200.
The upper limit for attendees at a marriage function and funeral has been kept 100.
The release, however, also stated that it is advisable that people celebrate festivals like Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, New Year, Sharad Purnima in their respective homes with family members.
Violation of any of the condition mentioned in the SOP will attract legal action, the release said.
It has also prohibited public events like Ramleela, Ravan Dahan, processions, fairs and rallies.
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