GUWAHATI: Assam Health Minister Keshab Mahanta today announced that a set of rules and restrictions to be followed by the people of Assam during the period of Durga Puja 2021, to be held later in the month of October.
Further, the minister stated that the SOP will be released later today, however did not mention any guidelines for the upcoming Biswakarma Puja 2021.
Notably in the year 2020 when the entire country along with Assam was under the grip of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the state government directed - After 10 pm, the puja mandap has to be closed down. Secondly, two men cannot do pillion riding. Women and children can. Cultural functions and competitions are prohibited, but aarti was allowed.
Further, the restaurants were asked to be closed down by 9 pm during the puja days. However, the DCs could modify some of these guidelines.
Apart from these, people have to ensure the wearing of masks and usage of hand sanitisers.
With regards to immersion, Mass immersion was also not be allowed adding that only a single idol shall be immersed at a time.
"Permission to immerse the idols should be taken 2-3 days prior from the district administrations. Processions accompanying the idols shall not be allowed," the notification from 2020 stated.
Also, the organizers who plan to host Durga pujas should ask for permission from the district administrations and the organizers of the pujas should hold pujas in pandals with open roofs.