Unlike previous years, there will be no pandal or commercial stalls in Guwahati on the occasion of Viswakarma Puja this year and no khichiri will be served as part of the festival.

In this regard, an order has been issued by the Kamrup Metro district administration on Wednesday.

Keeping in view of the COVID19 pandemic and rising positive cases, the district administration has issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) to celebrate Viswakarma Puja on Thursday.

“In view of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Kamrup Metropolitan district and continuous rise in positive cases, following instructions have been issued in the interest of public health and hygiene in connection with Biswakarma Puja and Mahalaya on 17th September 2020,” the deputy commissioner said in its order.

According to the order, gathering of crowd in public places has been prohibited.

“In puja offering places, only 15 persons are allowed at a time by maintaining social distancing,” the order said.

“Construction of pandals/commercial stalls in public places including on roads will not be permitted,” Kamrup Metropolitan deputy commissioner Biswajit Pegu, who is also the chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), said in the order.

Special lighting and use of the sound system will not be allowed to avoid the attraction of gatherings.

“Cooked food as prasad may be avoided at the puja offering places. Only dry prasad may be distributed if desired,” the order said.

No procession will be allowed for immersion purpose and the devotees will use sanitizes frequently and will wear mask, it said.

“No cultural programme will be allowed on September 17,” the DC clearly mentioned in the order.

This order is issued under section 34 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 and will be effective in the entire Kamrup Metropolitan district.

“Any violation of this order will attract legal action to the offender(s),” the order further said.

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