Bhubaneswar, March 9: The Odisha government on Tuesday directed all district administrations to ensure adherence to COVID-19 guidelines at different Shiv temples in wake of the possibility of large congregations on Mahashivratri on March 11.
Development Commissioner PK Jena in a letter to all district collectors and municipal commissioners pointed out that the state government has already restricted gatherings of over 500 people in festivals and melas. Mahashivratri 2021 Puja Rituals at Home: How to Perform Maha Shivaratri Vrat and Worship Lord Shiva? Here’s Everything You Should Know.
“This should be implemented within the temple premises. The administration may also reasonably restrict so as to avoid mass gatherings,” he said. “As large congregation on the occasion of Mahashivratri has a large potential of spreading COVID-19 infections, Collectors and Municipal Commissioners may restrict congregations/ gatherings to such number as may be felt appropriate considering the situation there and space available within such temples and its premises to gather, strictly adhering to the COVID-19 protocols,” Jena said.
He said that any person found violating the order shall be punishable under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws. Major Shiv Peeths or temples such as that of Shree Lingaraj in Bhubaneswar and Baba Akandalamani in Bahdark have restricted night-gathering and mass diya burning during Mahashivratri.