BENGALURU: As Covid numbers are dipping, the State Government is likely to allow the public celebration of Ganesha festival, which falls on September 10, but with restrictions. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has convened a meeting of experts on September 5 to discuss the issue and to notify detailed guidelines.
Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Monday said that across the State, some 30 big organisers hold events where over 50,000 people gather and 200 smaller groups who organise public celebrations with 2,000 people attending them. The police have a list of these organisers, who take prior permission before holding the events.
“We will get details from these organisers. The chief minister will hold the meeting on September 5 with experts to discuss the type of restrictions needed while allowing public celebrations,” he said. Last year, the government had imposed strict curbs on Ganesha celebrations.
Ashoka said the chief minister is keen on allowing the festival with safety measures. Many political leaders too felt that the government should give the green signal. “We discussed this issue for over half an hour at the meeting. We are aware that Covid cases spiked in Kerala after Onam celebrations.” he added.
Weekend curfew to be lifted in six districts of Karnataka
“The chief minister will have good news for the organisers and the public. Ganesha festival has an emotional connect as he is believed to remove all hurdles,” Ashoka added. He said deputy commissioners have been directed to lift certain restrictions in districts where the Covid positivity rate is less than 2 per cent. Weekend curfew will be lifted at Belagavi, Bidar, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi, Mysuru and Chamarajanagar. But it will continue at Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Hassan and Udupi districts. Students, however, can attend exams even during the weekend curfew by showing their hall tickets.
“The Centre has not issued any guidelines on the third wave, while Karnataka too has not seen any signs. We have become a role model for the country in controlling cases,” he said. The State has enough vaccines now and mass vaccination of 5,000 to 10,000 people will be taken up in each constituency soon, he added.The State Government has increased the number of guests attending weddings to 400 or 50 per cent of the wedding hall capacity, whichever is lower.
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