In fact, Jharkhand has also allowed people to celebrate other festivals in public places keeping in mind the coronavirus guidelines. (representative image)

Chhat Puja 2021: Chhath Puja is in close proximity, and as the festivities are huge in Delhi, Bihar and Jharkhand, the three states are preparing for the festival in full swing. However, for the second year in a row, the coronavirus pandemic is set to limit celebrations. In order to ensure that mass celebrations do not lead to an increase in the number of cases, Bihar, Jharkhand and Delhi have set guidelines for celebrations. Jharkhand has allowed people to celebrate Chhath Puja in ponds and rivers as long as COVID-19 protocols are followed.

In fact, Jharkhand has also allowed people to celebrate other festivals in public places keeping in mind the coronavirus guidelines. Ahead of the festival, the state also held a meeting and decided to completely lift restrictions on the work of shops, to extend the previous deadline of eight in the evening. Regardless, restrictions were lifted on Sunday completely, with markets and businesses allowed to operate as they were before the lockdown period. 500 guests can now be invited to weddings, and wedding halls can operate at 50% capacity. Meanwhile, clubs and cinemas can also open. It is not yet clear if this relaxation will continue in place after the holiday season is over or if it is here to stay.

Also in Bihar, state authorities have allowed public celebrations of the Shahat Puja on the banks of the Ganga River, in sharp contrast to last year’s ban on public festivities. The state authorities also began preparing for this event. Crackers will not be allowed to explode in the Ghats, and observing COVID-19 protocols will be mandatory for the festivities, the state has decided. The use of masks and sanitizers has become mandatory.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority has identified the specific locations where the ceremonies can take place, and the banks of the Yamuna are not included in these locations. The sites identified are outside the containment areas, and the DDMA has made clear that no site will be identified along the banks of the Yamuna, in order to ensure the river remains clean. The decision was made with strict adherence to the directives issued by the National Green Court (NGT) and the Yamuna Monitoring Committee.

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