Nagpur: Following Covid-19 shadow looming large in Nagpur, Chhath Puja this year will not be possible at the city’s water bodies — Ambazari Lake, Futala, Gorewada Lake overflow point and Sakkardara Lake, according to reports.
The Chhat Puja, which is celebrated by thousands of people from Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh living in Nagpur, will begin from November 20.
The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), last year, had made elaborate arrangements for Chhath Puja at the five lakes. However, this year, no celebration is allowed due to Covid-19 scare, said a NMC official. Senior BJP Corporator Dayashankar Tiwari, who oversees NMC’s arrangements for Chhath Puja every year, said people from Bihar residing in the city have decided not to celebrate the festival this year due to the pandemic. NMC has appealed to the citizens to celebrate the Puja at home, he said and added though no directives have been issued by the State Government, the Chhath Puja at water bodies will not be permitted.
Due to the fixed timings of performing the rituals, it will not be possible to stagger congregations to ensure social distancing. “It is not possible to ensure the compliance of Covid-19 protocol of physical distancing while performing the puja at the lake. So, the NMC too would not permit the Puja in any water body to minimize the chances of spread of Covid-19 infection,” said Tiwari.
National Working President of Uttar Bhartiya Sabha Umakant Agnihotri too has appealed to the community not to perform puja at public places. He cited the ongoing infrastructure work by MahaMetro near Ambazari Lake which has left no space for parking of vehicles of devotees coming for Chhath Puja there. The current health scenario due to the pandemic mandates people to stay at home instead of participating in a puja with huge gatherings, said Agnihotri.