Jharkhand has banned rituals of Chhath Puja, one of the biggest community festivals of the state, in public ponds, rivers, lakes, dams and reservoirs. This has been done in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), said the order issued by the state disaster management department on Sunday.
The main rituals for Chhath Puja are to be performed on November 20 evening and November 21 morning this year. Every year, massive crowds gather at various water bodies across Jharkhand to worship the setting sun and then the rising sun next morning.
Urban local bodies make arrangements for the puja by cleaning ghats, deploying security personnel and divers at water bodies, installing lights on roads and making arrangements for changing rooms and toilets at ghats every year. Ranchi Municipal Corporation has already started cleaning of ghats.
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However, in its order, the disaster management department said, “It is not possible to ensure the compliance of national directive of social distancing norm while performing Chhath Puja in waters of public ponds, lakes, rivers, dams and reservoirs…The ritual of holy bathing in common water bodies and standing in water is a matter of concern as it will amount to sharing of water, thus enhancing the chances of spread of infection besides causing contamination of the water.”