Cuttack: The Cuttack-Barabati MLA, Mohammed Moquim has urged the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to relax restrictions on Durga Puja celebrations in the Silver City.
In his letter to the CM, the MLA wrote, “It is a 500-year-old tradition and of great significance for the Cuttack denizens. It is part of the collective conscience of the people of the city. The idol size and rituals during the puja will have no impact on COVID-19 management. Therefore, I would request you to allow the city denizens to celebrate the festival, keeping with the tradition, by wearing masks and maintaining social distance.”
There will be no public celebrations of popular festivals like Durga puja, Laxmi puja and Kali puja in Odisha when the festive season begins later this month, the state government has earlier informed.
Besides, according to the guidelines issued by the state government, Durga Puja pandals in Odisha will not be open for public viewing this year in the wake of
the COVID-19 pandemic and only rituals are to be performed sans the pomp and grandeur.
The government also restricted the height of idols to less than 4 feet and barred the use of loudspeakers at pandals.
Puja shall be conducted in indoor-like condition only for observance of rituals without public participation, pomp and grandeur,” it said.
At any given point of time, there shall not be more than seven persons, including organisers and priests, in the puja pandals, the guidelines said.
The persons present in a puja pandal shall follow all COVID-related protocols such as social distancing, wearing of masks and personal hygiene in letter and spirit, as per the guidelines.
There will be no immersion procession and the idols will be immersed in artificial ponds to be created by the local administration for the purpose, the government said.
There shall be no musical or any other entertainment programme, it said.