Berhampur, Oct 9 (LocalWire): No towering pandals replicated to represent famous historical places will decorate the towns this year during the long-awaited Durga Puja, which is slated to begin from October 17 this year.
While the puja organizers have sought a minimum of 10,000 sq. ft of area to erect makeshift pandals for the puja, the district administration has restricted the maximum carpet area of the mandap to only 250 sq. ft.
Moreover, puja organizers have to submit an affidavit to the sub-collector (Berhampur) that they will abide by the COVID guidelines of the government in letter and spirit.
“The puja will be conducted without the participation of the public, and only the rituals will be observed, owing to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation,” said the sub-collector (Berhampur) V. Keerthi Vasan.
Vasan has discussed the arrangements with the officials of the puja committees and also appealed to them to follow the guidelines issued by the government, while organizing the puja.
He has asked the puja organizers to install CCTV cameras inside the makeshift puja pandals to oversee the activities inside the mandap and to guard the COVID-19 regulations.
As per the government’s guidelines, while the height of the idol should not be exceed four-feet, more than seven persons, including the priests would not be allowed inside the pandal.
Priests and other persons present in the pandal have to wear gloves mandatorily while the area will be disinfected daily.
Fire-safety measures have to be ensured by the organizers and boards displaying dos and don’ts have to be displayed near the entrance of the pandals.