BMC spells out rules for Durga puja celebration, city pandals to go live
BHUBANESWAR: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday issued its guidelines for the ensuing Durga Puja, limiting the idol size to less than 4 ft and the number of participants in a puja pandal or mandap to seven.In continuation of the State government guidelines for the festive season issued earlier, BMC mandated that no public congregation will be allowed during the Durga puja which would be celebrated in an indoor-like setting.
Puja organisers will have to obtain permission from an officer authorised by the Commissioner of Police. The puja pandal or mandap will be covered on all three sides with the fourth side being kept open for use only by the priest for rituals. No public view of the deity would be allowed. Besides, the organisers will have to ensure that all the seven participating persons are fully vaccinated and adhere to Covid-19 norms.
Similarly, no immersion procession would be allowed by the civic body and the idols shall be immersed in the artificial ponds created by the BMC for the purpose, the notification read. Only 10 persons will be allowed for immersion of the idol in Bhubaneswar this year keeping in view the low height of the idol.The BMC officers will conduct surprise visits to the pandals and mandaps to check the puja permission letters and Covid vaccination certificates of all those involved in the celebration, the civic body Commissioner said.
Sources said 165 puja pandals and mandaps in the Capital city will be organising Durga puja this year. With restrictions on visit of devotees to puja mandaps, some of the bigger pandals including Saheed Nagar, Rasulgarh and Nayapalli will telecast the rituals live.
“Government has prohibited offering of bhoga by devotees during the rituals. Hence, we will be providing small bhoga packets only to devotees who have been observing Astami Brata at our pandal. The bhoga will be prepared by professional cook and will be packed with utmost care and hygiene”, said Saheed Nagar puja committee secretary Narayan Mohapatra.