Hailakandi district will follow in letter and spirit the Standard of Procedure (SoP) for the upcoming Durga Puja festivity.
At a meeting with the puja committees and clubs and organisations at the office conference hall on Thursday, Deputy Commissioner, Megh Nidhi Dahal urged them to follow the SoP guidelines during the ensuing Durga Puja.
Dahal said that in view of the COVID pandemic situation, everyone has to religiously follow the guidelines set by the government for the Durga Puja to contain the disease.
The Deputy Commissioner urged the Puja committees to maintain social distancing, wearing of masks and personal hygiene to keep COVID-19 disease at bay.
Dahal said the members of the Puja committees, priests and volunteers must have to undergo COVID tests on the day of Panchami and after Dashami.
Officials of the administration present in the meeting told the representatives of the Puja committees to ensure that the Puja mandaps are open on all sides with separate entry and exit points and there should not be more than 50 persons at a time.
They asked the puja committees to apply for permission for conducting puja and to arrange for deployment of volunteers for regulating the devotees and to ensure that the COVID protocols are strictly adhered to.
In this context, Superintendent of Police, Pabindra Kumar Nath asked the puja committees to submit the list of volunteers before October 21.
The administration made it clear that there would not be any roadside construction of puja pandals and no distribution of prasad at the puja sites.
Only packed dry prasad would be allowed to be delivered at homes through volunteers.
All puja mandaps have to be closed at 10 am and eateries at 9 pm sharp.
The administration said procession will be strictly banned and not more than 10 persons would be allowed at the time of immersion and, if required, the immersion would be staggered to avoid rush.
Immersion will begin from 11 am onwards. Sanitisation of the immersion ghats would be carried out.
It asked the puja committees to install CCTVs and fire extinguishers at the mandaps, besides deploy at least two persons for guarding the mandaps at night.
The Deputy Commissioner asked APDCL to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the puja days and the Public Health Engineering Department to provide water supply twice a day.
Mask stalls may be set up near the puja mandaps so that devotees can buy them in case they forgot to bring along with them.
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