Mumbai: 'No gatherings at beaches, lakes for Chhath Puja' says BMC
BMC issues circular saying cops will ensure that people don't congregate in large numbers
Days after the BJP asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to issue guidelines for Chhath Puja and demanded setting up of artificial ponds near natural water bodies, the civic body issued a circular disallowing any kind of gatherings or rituals near beaches and lakes in the city. However, the civic body would give permissions to private organisers, who would have to ensure that social distancing norms are followed. The circular further states that the police should ensure that large congregations don't take place because it might lead to a second wave of the COVID-19 infection.
The festival, which is mainly celebrated in Bihar and Jharkhand and some eastern states of the country, is also quite popular in the city considering the large number of North Indians residing here. Every year the BMC issues guidelines for celebrating Chhath Puja. This year it will only give permission to private organisers at the ward level where social distancing norms would have to be followed by them.
In a letter to the additional commissioner, BJP leaders had compared Chhath Puja to Ganehotsav and Navratri and said that artificial lakes/ponds should be set up at various parks for visarjan. However, the circular has stated that ward officials can give out permissions to private organisers.
Meanwhile, BJP leader Balchandra Shirsat, who had demanded that guidelines be issued said, "We understand that allowing large congregations at beaches can be a problem. But the BMC will allow organisers to create artificial ponds so that the festivities are not hampered."
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