Berhampur: All religious institutions in Ganjam district have been closed for public darshan for seven days from April 14 to 21.
Issuing an order in this regard after a surge in COVID-19 positive cases in the district, collector Vijay Amrit Kulange said all religious places will be sanitised and the sevayat or priest will perform only daily rituals during the period.
These activities would be supervised by Commissioner, Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BeMC) and sub-divisional magistrates in their respective jurisdiction through tehsildars, BDOs and NAC executive officers.
Any person violating the order will be liable to be prosecuted in accordance with provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act 2005, Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC and other legal provisions as applicable, the collector said.
Moreover, celebration of Meru Yatra and Pana Sankranti shall not be celebrated publicly, the order mentioned.
Meanwhile, the temporary abode of Maa Buddhi Thakurani in the city has been closed for public darshan after two of the priests tested positive for COVID-19. Section 144 of CrPC has been promulgated in Desibehera Sahi by the district administration till the end of the Yatra on April 16.
Sub-collector, Berhampur V Keerthi Vasan has issued the order which is being implemented from 7 pm on April 12.
There is barricading at both the ends of Desibehera Street to prevent any outsider from entering into the area. Only residents and shopkeepers in Desibehera Street are allowed to move in and out of the street by producing relevant ID proof to the police on gate duty.
Only traditional rituals would be performed till the stay of Maa Budhi Thakurani in her parental house. Not more than 10 priests are allowed in the temporary pandal to carry out traditional rituals.
During the return of the deity from temporary abode to the main temple on April 16, restrictions under Section 144 shall be extended across the entire route and police will cordon off the area, the order stated.