Holi Celebration In Public Places Banned In Odisha; SRC Issues Guidelines

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has restricted congregation for celebration of Dola Yatra and associated religious and cultural congregations throughout the state. Holi celebration on March 28th & 29th and their related rituals will not be observed in public places.

As per the order issued by the Office of Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha, “The State is passing through a critical situation due to detection of new variant of SARS-CoV 2 and it is necessary to strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols for containment of spread of the infection. Besides, resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) have been noticed in many parts of the world including Brazil, Germany, Italy and France etc and in many parts of India such as Maharastra, Panjab, Karnatak, Gujurat, Madhyapradesh and Kerala etc.,” the Odisha SRC said.

The sacred festival of ‘Dolayatra’ and ‘Holi’ are approaching and people usually congregate and get in touch with each other to celebrate the festivals and play colours during which use of face masks and physical distancing norms are not able to be adhered to and such congregations have a potentiality to cause spread of the virus.

In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 24(I) of the Disaster Management Act,2005 read with Rule 8(1) of the Odisha Disaster Management Rules, 2010 the following guidelines are issued;

In the interest of the general public and for containment of spread of COVID-19, it is hereby directed that, congregation for celebration of ‘Dolayatra‘ and associated religious and cultural congregations shall not be allowed in public throughout the State. Religious rituals in temples will continue as usual with strict adherence of Covid protocols. Considering local conditions, Collectors and Municipal Commissioners may impose appropriate restriction on entry of devotees into temples and celebrations in temples and religious places. ‘Dola Melan’s if any, may be allowed with appropriate number of participants as decided by the Collectors/ Municipal Commissioners in their respective jurisdictions with strict adherence of Covid appropriate behaviour and norms.

Further, it is directed that ‘Holi’ on 28″ and 29″ and their related rituals shall not be observed in public places throughout the state. People may celebrate ‘Holi’ with family members in their houses only and not in any public places including public roads. Collectors and Municipal Commissioners may impose any further restrictions as desirable in consideration of local situations.

Any person found violating this order shall be punished under provisions of the Disaster Management Act,2005 and other relevant laws, read the order.

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