Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Wednesday cleared the air about ‘Chhath Puja’ guidelines in the state. Celebrated six days after Diwali, the festival enjoys prominence in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Referring to the Maharashtra government’s guidelines for ‘Chhath Puja’ celebrations in the state, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said, “Cases of coronavirus should not increase in Maharashtra. All festivals in Maharashtra, be it of Hindu or Muslims, all are celebrated with simplicity this time.”
“Now, even for Chhath Puja, it has to celebrated with simplicity. We have put out guidelines for the same. Nobody should gather at beaches or riverfronts. People should celebrate at home only,” Deshmukh added.
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Talking about the spread of Covid-19 in Maharashtra, Anil Deshmukh added, “We have seen how coronavirus affected the whole world. Therefore, precautions have to be taken. Good is that cases have come down in Mumbai and other places but we need to follow all precautions. Therefore, all are requested to follow guidelines issued by the government for Chhath Puja as well.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Mumbai’s civic body prohibited Chhath Puja celebrations at beaches, rivers and ponds. The Bruhanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also issued guidelines for the same.
In a statement, BMC officials said that necessary permissions will be issued at the department-level for Chhath Puja public events. Help will be sought from the Mumbai Police to enforce these guidelines and artificial lakes and ponds will be set up to place the ‘Nirmalya Kalash’.
The Delhi High Court has also upheld the AAP government’s order prohibiting Chhath Puja celebrations at public places in light of the pandemic. You have to be alive first to celebrate rituals of any religion. Are you not aware of the coronavirus situation in Delhi?” a bench of the Delhi HC observed on Wednesday.
Jharkhand government, meanwhile, has permitted Chhath Puja celebrations along water bodies while Odisha government has prohibited the same.