The Centre had on Thursday asked all states to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through South Africa and Hong Kong.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai accused the BJP of playing politics on the festival and said the Delhi L-G has banned Chhath Puja celebrations on the Yamuna banks.
The launch of preparations came on a day when pictures and videos of Chhath devotees standing in waist-deep toxic froth in the Yamuna at Kalindi Kunj went viral on social media.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority has prohibited Chhath Puja on the banks of the Yamuna river.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has prohibited celebrations of Chhath Puja on the banks of the Yamuna this year.
Chhath, celebrated after Diwali by people belonging to Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, involves the offering of 'Arghya' by fasting women to the Sun god in knee-deep water.
DDMA had last week announced that schools would reopen for all classes from November 1, even though teaching and learning would continue in blended mode.
People observing the festival can now gather at the ghats (banks) of Yamuna River or at water bodies in the city to pay their respects to the sun god while following all COVID-19 protocols.
When student polls were cancelled last year due to Covid, all stakeholders were in favour of the decision. But a similar decision this year has stirred controversy.
Tthe DDMA had prohibited Chhath celebrations at public places, including riverbanks, waterbodies, and temples, in view of the threat posed by COVID-19, leading to protests by the Delhi BJP.
The Delhi Police and district authorities will ensure proper seating arrangement at events by adhering to social distancing norms, separate entry and exit points at venues.
All the government and private schools in Delhi for classes nine to 12 were allowed to reopen on September 1 by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority.
With exhibitions now allowed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, Delhi-based organisers talk about the challenges ahead
According to the minutes of the meeting, Dr Sujit Kumar Singh, Director, National Centre For Disease Control said new COVID cases have been fewer than 100 for quite some time in Delhi.
Counsel for the petitioner submitted that in view of a 'significant drop' in COVID-19 cases, there was 'selective exclusion' of religious places even in the latest order of DDMA.