New Guidelines Issued For Makar Sankranti In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Government of Odisha Revenue and Disaster Management Department has issued new guidelines in view of Makar Sankranti, 2022.

The said Department has specifically directed that congregations, large gatherings, social, religious, festivities functions will remain prohibited in the State till 1 February 2022.

The  State is passing through a critical stage of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the resurgence of
COVID-19 in some parts of the State and it is necessary to strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety
protocols for containment of spread of the infection.

The order further read that, on the occasion of Makar Sankranti or Pongal (14.01.2022) usually large number of people congregate at river banks, ghats, ponds, sea shore or near other waterbodies to take holy bath and performing puja.

Also Makar Mela is organized or celebrated in some districts.

It is noteworthy that, such congregations have large potential for spread of COVID-19 infections.

Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 24(I) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 read with Rule 8(1) of the Odisha Disaster Management Rules, 2010 the undersigned hereby directs following restrictions:

(i) Congregations at river banks/ ghats/ ponds/ sea shore or near other waterbodies to take bath
on the occasion of Nakar Sankranti/ Pongaland on the day following shall remain prohibited
throughout the State.

(ii) Organisation / celebration Dakar Mela is strictly prohibited.

(iii) All religious places/ places of worship shall be closed for public on Makar Sankranti/
Pongal/ Nakal Mela day(s). However religious rituals are allowed with bare minimum priests/
servitors and staff.
(iv) Religious congregations/ celebrations are strictly prohibited.

People are advised to perform the rituals/puja on the occasion of Makar Sankranti/ Pongal
(14.01.2022) at home with family members only avoiding mass gatherings and adhering to the
COVID-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing, use of face mask/ covering and hand
washing/ hand sanitizer.

All the District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners/ Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack/ Superintendents of Police shall strictly enforce the above guidelines.

Any person found violating this order shall be punished under the provision of the Disaster
Management Act,2005 and other relevant laws.

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