No Chhath Puja at public places in Delhi due to Covid-19, rules DDMA

In view of rising cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the national capital, the Delhi District Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday directed officials to ensure Chhath Puja is not performed at public places, river banks and temples.

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In an order, Delhi chief secretary Vijay Dev, who is also the DDMA executive committee chairman, directed all district magistrates (DMs) and deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) to ensure strict compliance of its order and to encourage people to celebrate the festival at their homes during the pandemic.

Additionally, the order also directed the DMs and DCPs to meet religious and community leaders, as well Chhath Puja organisers, to get their cooperation to maintain law and order and harmony, and to sensitise people regarding compliance of the DDMA guidelines and other norms to combat Covid-19.

DDMA’s directive comes at a time Delhi is witnessing a fresh surge in its daily Covid-19 cases, in what many, including chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, have called the “third wave” of the pandemic in the city. On Tuesday, there were 7,830 new Covid-19 cases and 83 related fatalities in the national capital, taking the total caseload here to 451,382, including 7,143 deaths, as per a bulletin released by the Delhi government.

On Wednesday, the government was also taken to task by the Delhi high court for relaxing norms for public movement and gatherings even as Covid-19 cases were increasing. The court also called the situation “alarming.”

Also Read | Delhi HC pulls up AAP govt for relaxing norms as Covid-19 cases spike

In view of Covid-19, as well as air pollution, firecrackers have already been banned in Delhi till November 30. Earlier, all Delhi schools were directed to remain closed till further orders.

The Chhath Puja is celebrated in Delhi in a big way by the natives of Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh The two-day festival falls on November 20-21 this year and involves worship of the Sun God at a water body like a river, pond or tank.

(With PTI inputs)

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