Guwahati: Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner Biswajit Pegu has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to be followed during the upcoming Vishwakarma Puja which will be observed on Thursday (September 17). The puja this year will be held by following the COVID-19 protocols amid the rise in virus cases across the country.
Pegu, addressing the media from his office in Guwahati, said that groups of people shall be limited to three only. On the day, the assembling of crowds at any place at any time will not be allowed.
Pegu further added that the wearing of masks and maintaining physical distancing have been made mandatory at the puja pandals. Moreover, to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks, the number of people in and around the Viswakarma Puja venues shall be capped at 15.
He further added that the distribution of wet offerings like khichdi would not be allowed. Instead, the administration has requested puja committees to distribute dry-packed prasad. The DC has further informed that the decoration of pandals, lighting, and roadside stalls will not be permitted.
"In previous years, we have witnessed that the puja is observed with a lot of fanfare, with lots of lighting, and visarjan, which is a big affair. This time around, we have urged the puja committees not to do so," Pegu said.
"Since the COVID-19 continues to be factor, we have issued a special set of directives. We hope the Mahalaya organizers shall also abide by the rules and regulations. Thus, we appeal everyone to take the safety precautions," the DCfurther added.
Meanwhile, puja organizing committees in the district have affirmed that they will observe the festival by following the COVID-19 norms. "They have said that they will keep the celebrations low-key owing to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis," Pegu told media persons.
Celebrated every year on September 17, the Vishwakarma Puja day is a major celebration for artisans, craftsmen, labourers, factory workers as Lord Viswakarma is regarded as the Lord of creation, the divine architect and engineer.