MANGALURU: State BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel on Friday said that a two-day ‘Dharma Nemotsava’ -- a religious event organised by his family at Kelagina Kunjadi Tharavadu village in Kadaba taluk of Dakshina Kannada district -- will be held as per schedule on April 8 and 9 by adhering to Covid-19 protocols.A recent order by Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar, imposing restrictions on religious events across the state in view of surging Covid cases had put a question mark over the event for which elaborate arrangements have already been made.
Talking to the media here, Kateel maintained that the religious event is ‘inevitable’ and cannot be cancelled. “It is Dharma Niyama (tenets of religion) and we have to do it. The event dates were fixed on the directions of priests. Because of the pandemic, the event has been cut short from four days to two and no cultural programmes are being held,” he added. He said that as per his family’s tradition, the ritual had to be conducted once in 12 years, but was not held for the last 60 years due to various reasons, including migration of youth in the joint family to cities.
He said, “Since the event is being organised in an area spread over 150 acres, there is no chance of a large congregation. We will ensure that not more than 500 people assemble at one place. We have made arrangements for body sanitisers at four spots. Masks will be provided to those who arrive without it,” he said.
Asked how many people are expected, Kateel said they had initially expected around 50,000 - 60,000, but later brought it down. Parking arrangements have been made for 8,000 vehicles. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is also invited for the event, but he is yet to confirm his participation.