The Jharkhand state government has issued a notification that bans performing Chhath Puja on water bodies in the state. The notification says that the decision has been taken in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the guidelines:
1. Since it is not possible to ensure the compliance of national directive of social distancing norm of ‘do gaz ki doori’ while performing Chhath Puja in the waters of river pond/lake dam reservoir etc, therefore Chhath Puja in the waters of public ponds/lakes/rivers/dams/reservoirs/any other water body shall not be permitted so as to minimize the chances of spread of Covid-19 infection.
2. No stalls of any kind shall be set up by anyone on or near the banks of any public pond/lake/river/dam/reservoir/any other water body.
3. Earmarking/barricading/Special lighting of Chhath Ghats by individuals for the purpose of Chhath Puja is prohibited.
4. No bursting of firecrackers is permitted in public places.
5. There shall be no musical or any other entertainment/cultural program.
The notification also states that to perform the Chhath Puja, the ritual of ‘arghya’ is mandatory. Ponds, rivers, lakes and reservoirs witness a big congregation of women or ‘vartis’ and their family to perform this ritual. Amid a crowd, it will be difficult to maintain a distance of two yards.
The government also fears that the practice of taking the holy bath together can increase the chances of transmission of infection. This is also the reason why swimming pools in Jharkhand have not been given the green signal to reopen.
While the curve of coronavirus cases in the state has flattened but it’s not over. Hence, the government has taken precautionary steps.