Delhi allows Chhat Puja celebrations at designated sites amid Covid protocols


By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has decided to allow public celebrations of Chhat puja in the national capital, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon. 

With the decision, people observing the festival will be able to gather at the ghats of river Yamuna or other water bodies to pay their respects to the Sun god. The venues are designated by the Delhi government. Last year, public gatherings for Chhat Puja were barred owing to the pandemic. 

“In today’s DDMA meeting, a decision was taken to allow public celebrations of the Chhat Puja. Now, all residents in the city can observe the festival together at venues designated by the government while following all Covid protocols to guard against the spread of the virus,” Sisodia tweeted. 

The DDMA has permitted the festivities, revising its previous order of September 30, which had barred public celebrations of Chhat for the second year in a row, owing to the pandemic. 

Allowing public celebrations of Chhat had become a bone of contention between the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government. 

BJP MP and senior party leader Manoj Tiwari had written multiple times to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and the DDMA to allow the festivities in public with Covid protocols in place this year. 

Tiwari had even taken out a public procession to garner people’s support to pressure the city government for allowing the festivities. On October 14, Kejriwal wrote to the Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who heads the DDMA, to allow the public celebration of the festival. 

Prior to this, Sisodia had written to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya urging him to issue guidelines for the same. 

The festival falls on November 10. 

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