New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a major development, the Delhi Government on Wednesday has decided to allow the Chhath Puja festivities in the National Capital but with very strict COVID-19 protocols.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority in a meeting to discuss the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation and reconsider the ban on the Puja celebrations decided that Chhath Puja can be allowed in Delhi.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in a press conference said.“In today’s DDMA meeting it was decided that Chhath Puja will be permitted in Delhi. This will be done with very strict protocols at the spots decided by the government beforehand. A limited number of people will be allowed with adherence to COVID protocols."

Earlier on September 30, DDMA had prohibited the celebration of Chhath Puja in public places of Delhi including the Yamuna riverbanks, other water bodies, and temples in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

"People are requested to follow all COVID-19 protocols and wear masks... The Covid situation is under control in Delhi but one has to remain careful,” he said.

Amid protests by the BJP and the Congress against the Chhath Puja ban, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier this month urged Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to call a meeting of the DDMA to allow celebrations in public.

Chhath, celebrated after Diwali by people belonging to Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, involves the offering of 'Arghya' by fasting women to the Sun god in knee-deep water.

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri launched a special COVID-19 vaccination drive in Burari's Ibrahimpur village for devotees who will be observing fast on Chhath festival.

Puri was accompanied by BJP MP Manoj Tiwari, the party's Purvanchal face in the national capital.

Sisodia had earlier written to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, requesting clarity on Chhath Puja celebrations in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is likely that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) or COVID-19 guidelines for Chhath Puja will stay the same as the SOPs for other festivals.

Posted By: Ashita Singh