The Jharkhand government has issued a notification prohibiting congregation and religious ceremony on the banks of rivers, ponds and other public waterbodies for Chhath puja, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the guidelines issued by the State Disaster Management Committee late on Sunday, all precautions were being taken by the Government to ensure the safety of people amid the pandemic, and as part of the measures, no one would be allowed to organise any musical or cultural programme near the waterbodies during the Chhath festival.
Decorative lights at public places and bursting of firecrackers, too, have been forbidden this time.
The committee, in its notification, said that the practice of taking bath in one waterbody by a group of people could increase chances of virus transmission.
It also disallowed placing of barricades or earmarking of areas for the purpose of performing Chhath puja.
The festival, to be held from November 17 to 21 this year, is usually marked by huge congregations.
As there is a fixed time to perform the rituals, it would be difficult to control the crowd, the order said.
The notification further said that setting up of shops and stalls near the waterbodies won’t be permitted.
A total of 1,06,064 people have tested positive for COVID-19 cases in Jharkhand so far, of which 924 have succumbed to the infection.