Gatherings during festival season permitted in Delhi
(Sourced from PTI)
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Wednesday decided to allow gatherings, including Ramleela celebrations, during the upcoming festival season with strict compliance to COVID-19 norms, official sources said. The Delhi Police and district authorities will ensure proper seating arrangement at events by adhering to social distancing norms, separate entry, and exit points at venues, and no overcrowding at gatherings.
"They will make sure that gatherings during the festive season are strictly in compliance with standard operating procedures. They will ensure that no fairs and stalls are allowed and if SOPs are not followed, then action will be taken against event organizers," a source said.
The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy CM Manish Sisodia were not present in the meeting. "After a detailed discussion with experts, the need to strictly follow and enforce COVID-19 appropriate behavior (CAB) was emphasized upon, especially in wake of the upcoming festive season to prevent any resurgence of infection," Baijal tweeted.
The DDMA will issue another order with detailed SOPs in a few days, the sources said. According to sources, experts in the meeting expressed satisfaction over the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the national capital and the efforts being made by the departments concerned to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. They still strongly reiterated not to let their guards down.
The Delhi chief secretary was directed to go through SOPs for the festive season and synergize them with guidelines issued by the Central government for effective management. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot, top experts, and government officials attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, Ramleela organizing committees in Delhi said it will be difficult for them to organize Ramleela on a grand scale this year due to a shortage of time. "The DDMA's order of organizing Ramleela without fairs and grandeur is as good as doing nothing. Chances are bleak that we will organize Ramleela this year," Rajesh Khanna, secretary-general of Shri Ramleela Committee, said.
"Preparations for organizing Ramleela generally begin two to three months before its scheduled time, but this year we were not sure whether committees would be allowed to organize Ramleelas," he added. The festival season will start with Navratri commencing in October. Durga Puja is celebrated during the same time. Dussehra falls on October 15 and Diwali on November 4 this year.