Tamil Nadu

No ban on public gathering in Puducherry: Narayanasamy

Taking stock: Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy chairing a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority in Puducherry on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: T.Singaravelou

Religious, public functions and celebrations could be held in the Union Territory in compliance with the COVID-19 protocol issued by the Union government, Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy said here on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) here, he said the SDMA decided to allow celebrations and gatherings in compliance with COVID-19 prevention norms.

The meeting discussed an order issued by Collector Purva Garg on December 18 announcing that her office would not allow celebrations and gatherings to mark the upcoming festivals. The Chief Minister said the order was based on a Supreme Court judgment related to a fire accident and had nothing to do with COVID-19.

Mr. Narayanasamy said the government would inform the Madras High Court of its intent to hold the Sani Peyarchi event at the Thirunallar temple by observing the pandemic prevention norms. The court would hear a petition on Wednesday. Similarly, Christians could celebrate Christmas by following the norms. The Pongal could be celebrated by observing social distancing norms and other measures.

Hotels could conduct normal events with a limit of 200 persons. A decision on the New Year celebrations at hotels would be taken only after further discussions. But there was no ban on people visiting the beach on New Year’s eve. “Nobody has the right to ban any event. But people have to follow the rules, and the police will enforce the rules. There is no ban on public functions, including government functions...,” he said.

Mr. Narayanasamy made it clear that Ministers and MLAs would take part in the celebrations at Yanam to mark the completion of 25 years of Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao in the Assembly.

The meeting discussed the steps to be taken by the Health Department for the vaccination programme. The government has already announced the priority groups for vaccination. The government expects the programme to start by January-end or February.

The SDMA decided to utilise the money from the Chief Minister’s COVID-19 Relief Fund to create infrastructure for storing the vaccine.

‘Ban New Year fete’

The AIADMK on Tuesday demanded a ban on New Year celebrations in hotels and on Beach Road in Puducherry.

Addressing a press conference, party leader in Puducherry Assembly and secretary (east wing) A. Anbalagan said the celebrations would cause a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.

He also wanted the ‘Sani Peyarchi’ festival at Thirunallar Saneeswaran temple in Karaikal to be held by observing all COVID-19 protocols.

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 12:52:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/no-ban-on-public-gathering-in-puducherry-narayanasamy/article33397869.ece

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