HAILAKANDI: The Hailakandi district administration held a meeting with various puja committees for the upcoming Durga Puja amidst the COVID-19 situation.
Chairing a meeting at his office conference hall here on Friday, Deputy Commissioner, Megh Nidhi Dahal urged the puja committees to keep the festivity a low key affair in view of the COVID-19 pandemic situation. Underscoring the need for strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocols, Dahal urged the puja committees to avoid gatherings, maintaining social distancing and wearing masks by devotees. The Deputy Commissioner clearly pointed out that no one should be allowed to enter the puja premises without wearing mask or face cover and suggested that the puja committees either put up stalls on masks near the pandals so that people can buy them or distribute mask free of cost to the devotees.
Stressing on spiritual aspect of the celebration in view of the prevailing situation, Dahal said the puja mandals must be less decorated or illuminated and the deities must be installed at vantage position so that the devotees can pay obeisance from all corners. Dahal asked the puja committees to shun mela in and around the puja mandals to prevent gatherings in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Deputy Commissioner asked the puja committees to train sufficient number of volunteers who must have to undergo swab test and deploy them for regulating gatherings, traffic control and for security purpose as the police personnel are engaged with COVID-19 and law and order duties. Dahal said that there should not be any seating arrangements inside the pandals and that 'prasadam' must be distributed in an organised way to avoid crowding. The Deputy Commissioner asked the puja committees to restrict the use of loudspeakers till 10 pm as per the direction of the Supreme Court. The meeting was attended by Additional Deputy Commissioner, RK Dam, Circle Officer, Hailakandi, Tridip Roy and other officials.