Places of worship in Telangana opens doors on June 8; conditions apply

Endowments Dept directs temple authorities across Telangana to adopt ‘No Mask - No Entry’ policy; worshippers to be allowed to pray for a brief period in gurdwaras.

Published: 08th June 2020 10:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th June 2020 10:16 AM   |  A+A-

The Bhadrakali temple being sanitised a day before it opens for devotees, in Warangal

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  As temples across Telangana are set to reopen on Monday after an extended Covid-induced lockdown, the Endowments Department directed the authorities to adopt the ‘No Mask - No Entry’ policy.  The authorities were busy pasting awareness posters on the dos and don’ts, putting in place physical distancing arrangements, and ensuring sanitisers and disinfectants are available to control the stead of the highly contagious virus.

Endowment Commissioner Anil Kumar told Express that they have directed the temple managements to ensure social distancing by marking circles with a minimum distance of 6 ft. Children below 10 years and senior citizens above 65, people with comorbidities and pregnant women would not be allowed into the temples as they are more vulnerable to contracting the disease. 

“All the standard operating protocols (SOPs) issued by the government to contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus will be strictly followed. Theertha and prasadam will not be distributed. Temperature screening will be conducted at multiple entry points and only asymptomatic persons will be allowed,” Anil Kumar said.  Following the government’s decision to open the places of worship, the Endowments Department issued detailed guidelines to Hindu temples on the precautionary measures to be taken.

These include sanitising the temple premises with disinfectants regularly, arranging for hand sanitisers and conducting thermal screening.Devotees would be asked to their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before entering the temples. Common practices such as touching statues, idols and holy books, and taking a holy dip at the water bodies near the temples would be prohibited. Devotees are suggested to bring their own prayer mats as the temples would not provide these anymore. According to the guidelines, if a person showing symptoms of Covid-19 or has tested positive for the disease is spotted on the temple premises, he/she should be immediately isolated in a room and medical officials alerted.

Arrangements at temples in Hyderabad
As there is a spike in Covid-19 cases in the city limits, the temples in Hyderabad are taking some special precautions. These include placing foot-operated hand sanitiser dispensers at several places and allowing devotees inside the temple in proportion with the space available.

Peddamma temple executive officer Vanga Ambuja said all the temple staff, including the priests, would be given face-shields and masks, while physical contact would be avoided. She said they will distribute prasadam on a experimental basis on Monday. “We have marked circles in two queue lines with a 6-ft distance. Pedal-operated hand sanitisers are placed at eight entry and exit points,” she said.

Basara temple undergoes deep-cleaning
Adilabad: The authorities and workers of Basara temple were busy cleaning the premises with sodium hypochloride and drawing social distancing markers in queue lines as the temple reopens on Monday. Executive officer Vinod Reddy said the accommodation facility at the temple is unavailable for now and devotees would not be allowed to take a holy dip in the Godavari. Also, children below 10 years old and devotees over 60 would not be allowed into the temple

Fixed darshan timings at Bhadrachalam temple
Khammam: The Bhadrachalam temple will allow devotees to seek darshan from 6.30 am to 11.30 am and 3 pm to 6.30 pm. According to the temple’s executive officer, G Narashimhulu, they will be allowed to enter the temple after undergoing thermal screening. Prasadam/theertham would not be distributed during darshan. But counters on the temple premises would continue to sell laddu prasadam and pulihora, he said. Also, the temple authorities drew circles in queue lines to ensure social distancing. Narashimhulu appealed to those above 60 years and under 10 not to visit in view of the pandemic

AIMIM to distribute sanitisers, says Asad
Hyderabad: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the party’s charity organisation, Majlis Charity Educational and Relief Trust, will distribute touch-free sanitiser dispensers to gurdwaras, churches, temples and mosques. “At a total cost of `19,70,000; 220 @tecxtra dispensers with (1l capacity) & 27 Oakmist dispensers (5l capacity) will be distributed across Hyderabad, Nampally, Rajendranagar, Bholakpur, Sheikhpet, Erragadda & Amberpet,” Owaisi tweeted. He also said Mecca Masjid would receive Oakmist dispensers. “We hope that this will help adherents stay safe,” he said


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