Cuttack: The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) on Wednesday announced that the religious institutions under its jurisdiction will be allowed to open under COVID-19 restrictions from Thursday.
In an official order, the CMC stated that after assessment of the pandemic situation and consultation with stakeholders, it is satisfied that certain religious institutions and places of worship should be opened for the public subject to adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and other precautions.
It further said its enforcement team and ward officers will coordinate with ward level committees and religious institutions for ensuring smooth darshan of the deities by the devotees.
The municipal body issued the following stipulations to be followed by the religious institutions:
- A public notice shall be displayed outside the institutions in advance for creating
awareness among the people regarding COVID-19 surety protocol, such as checking of body temperature of devotees through infrared thermometer, wearing of face masks,
maintaining social/physical distance of 6 feet and hand sanitisation.
- Spitting at the institutions will be punishable with fine
- The ward officers, local police station and the stakeholders will decide whether religious institutions will remain open on major occasions/festivals after taking necessary permission from CMC. However, the normal rituals will continue as usual.
- The Puja Committee/Trust/Committee of the religious institutions will ensure
that there is a token system of entry. At no point of time should the number of
people be so high that 6 ft distance cannot bc maintained between two people.
- Religious institutions having rituals of community worship in prayer halls will
ensure that there is 6 ft distance among devotees with social distancing
- Use of common washing tanks before, after or during prayer is prohibited
- Frequent cleaning and disinfection to be maintained by the management of the
- The following categories of persons are advised to avoid crowded places keeping
in view their own safety:
a. Persons above 65 years Of age
b. Persons with comorbidities
c. Pregnant women
d, Children below the age of 10 years,
Anyone found violating the COVID-19 safety protocols inside/outside the religious institution will be punished as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and other legal provisions as applicable.