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Friday, April 16, 2021

Decision soon on holding Bengaluru Karaga festival without Covid-19 restrictions: BBMP commissioner

The Bengaluru Karaga, which has a history of over 300 years, is scheduled to be held from April 19 to 27.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: April 7, 2021 8:20:19 am
Bengaluru, Karaga festivalBengaluru Karaga festival. Photo courtesy: Karnataka Tourism Department

With Covid-19 cases on the rise, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will form a panel to take a call on whether the historical Bengaluru Karaga festival should be held without any restrictions this year.

A decision will be taken soon, said BBMP commissioner Gaurav Gupta after chairing a meeting over the festival arrangements.

“An Utsava committee needs to be formed before taking any decisions and an official from Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Department has been appointed as administrator, ” Gupta said.

“The panel will have prominent leaders from the Thigala community, who will see whether the celebrations should be restricted to the ceremonial pooja within the temple or if a procession could be taken out and the committee is expected to submit its report in seven to 10 days,” he added.

The Bengaluru Karaga, which has a history of over 300 years, is scheduled to be held from April 19 to 27. Largely associated with the Thigala community, the festival attracts lakhs of devotees every year from across the city.

Last year, due to high Covid-19 cases and lockdown, the festival, for the first time, was held within the premises of Shri Dharmarayaswamy Temple in Nagarathpet. A procession that marks the culmination of the 11-day festival was cancelled.

39 persons living near Dharmaraya Swamy Temple tests positive

Meanwhile, two weeks ahead of the Karaga festival, 39 persons living in an apartment behind Shri Dharmaraya Swamy Temple in Nagaratpet have tested positive for Covid-19.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) commissioner Gaurav Gupta who visited the spot on Tuesday said that they will ramp up the tests and vaccination drive in the locality.

Amid the second wave, BBMP on Monday had conducted a meeting to decide whether Karaga festival, city’s historical festival, Bengaluru Karaga should be held, this incident has hit the organisers and temple committee.

According to the BBMP officials all 39 residents belong to an apartment which is behind Dharmaraya Swamy Temple. It all started with one of the residents who had traveled from another state being tested positive. The apartment association went ahead for mass tests. Of 145 persons, 39 persons tested positive.

Two of them have been shifted to CV Raman General hospital and 37 have been isolated in a building in the same apartment which has been converted to mini Covid Care Centre (CCC). The BBMP officials said that they have conducted about 600 tests after the incident came to light and are planning to conduct at least 2,500 tests in a day or two. Eight teams have been deployed for testing as well as for vaccination for the residents nearby the temple, said, Gaurav Gupta.

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