Guwahati: Moments after the Kamrup (Metro) district administration issued a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) to reopen the shaktipeeth Kamakhya temple, the temple's doloi (head), Kavindra Sarma, said that the temple committee is yet to finalize decision on the reopening date.
"Wehave been given a set of guidelines by the district administration of Kamrup (M) to open the temple's gates to visitors by following COVID-19 safety precautions, which will take some time. They have urged the temple committe to ensure sanitization at the grounds. Beside, camps will be set up outside temple premises manned by police where people will have to show health certificates," Kabindra Prasad Sarma told The Sentinel Digital on Monday (September 21). "All these processes, which will also include the screening and scanning of devotees and forming them into groups is expected to take at least 7-10 days."
Sarma further informed that the temple authorities will inform about the date of reopening of the temple when they reach a decision. " One or two dates before the official reopening of the temple, we will make the announcement public. Although the district administration had mentioned a September 24 date for the temple reopening, that is subject to us being able to fulfill the required ," he added.
"It is unlikely that the temple will reopen its doors to the general public on Septem ber 24, despite the issual of the SOPs. We have to issue online passes and other formalities, which will take some time. The actual date of reopening shall be intimated by the temple authorities," Ridip Sharma, a temple priest informed The Sentinel Digital.
It needs mention here that the Kamrup district administration has issued guidelines for those who want to visit the shrine amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines for reopening the temple are as follows:
The administration will allow only 500 devotees per day to enter the temple complex for prayers and Parikrama.
The temple management committee will arrange online passes for the devotees on basis of the applications.
Person more than 65 years and below 10 years will not be allowed to visit the temple and the management committee will have to ensure this strictly at the time of the issue of online passes.
The online passes will be issued on a time slot basis so that gathering may be controlled at the temple premises at a time.
Further, the temple authority will issue a maximum of 100 online passes per hour for the devotees and devotees will be allowed to stay for a maximum of 15 minutes inside the temple premises.
After receiving the online application, the management committee will take a medical certificate of each devotee to show they are tested negative for COVID-19, the certificate should be issued within 3 days of their visit.
The online passes will be checked by the Police Authority at the entry point at lower Kamakhya and then will allow the devotees to proceed towards the main temple.
A medical team will be arranged to test the devotees at the entry point. After the detection of negative results, the devotees will be allowed to enter the main temple on small batches. The temple authority will arrange the sanitization of the area.
The devotees' hands will be sanitized and checked with the thermal scanner and then will be allowed to enter into the holy shrine.
The shopkeepers selling puja materials have been directed to keep their hands sanitized frequently.
The Kamakhya temple management committee will arrange stalls at the entry point near Kamakhya Nursery for police and medical teams.
The devotees who will bring their own vehicle will be allowed to travel up towards the parking area near the temple.
However, the commercial vehicles plying between the entry point and the main temple will be regulated by the police authority as per requirements. Further, no homestays will be allowed in the houses in and around the temple premises.