Mumbai: In view of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Government of Jharkhand has decided to ban the organizing of Chhath Puja celebrations on the banks of water bodies.
Chhath Puja, celebrated mainly by people from the border areas in Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh, will be celebrated on 20 November.
Chhath Puja in water bodies including public ponds, lakes, rivers, dams, reservoirs will not be allowed in view of the COVID-19 epidemic,” a notice issued by the government said.
As part of this puja, devotees gather on the banks of water bodies, take a holy bath and perform some rituals, all standing underwater. “Due to the fixed time of performing the above rites, it is not possible to ensure social disturbances,” the notice reads.
“The ritual of holy bathing in common water is a matter of grave concern,” the notice stated, adding that it would increase the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading and contaminating the water. “It is important to strike a balance between allowing religious activities and ensuring that checks and balances are in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” it further read.
Kolkata and New Delhi governments have also imposed restrictions on the celebrations this year.