While some states and UTs have imposed an outright ban on public and private celebrations, others have withdrawn permissions given to group events
The Central Government recently sent a circular requesting all states and Union Territories (UTs) to inflict restrictions on the Holi celebrations under Section 22 of the Disaster Management Act.
This step comes at a time when COVID-19 cases across the nation are seeing a fresh surge. On Friday, India recorded 59,118 new infections, the highest single-day rise so far this year.
In order to ensure people maintain social distancing during the very boisterous festival, several states and UTs have implemented restrictions on Holi celebrations. While some states and UTs have imposed an outright ban on public and private celebrations, others have withdrawn permissions given to group events. Here’s a list of states which have announced restrictions on Holi celebrations:
Delhi: The Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) of Delhi has advised all respective authorities to ensure that no public gatherings, celebrations are to be held in any public spaces like public fields, malls, metros, movie theatres, religious places, markets in and around the National Capital Territory of Delhi, has confirmed. Be it Holi, Navratri or Shab-e-Barat, celebrations are banned in NCT Delhi.
Chandigarh: The local UT administration has prohibited clubs, restaurants from entertaining guests, besides issuing a ban on the celebrations elsewhere.
Haryana: Owing to the rise in coronavirus cases in Gurugram, Karnal, Ambala and Panchkula, Haryana Cabinet Minister Anil Vij has prohibited Holi celebrations in the state.
Gujarat: The state government has banned all Holi celebrations in the state but allowed ‘Holika Dahan’ (28 March) amidst severe crowd restrictions. Only pyre lighting will be allowed, reports said.
Maharashtra: With Maharashtra being the worst-affected state by the novel coronavirus , several districts have announced restrictions on Holi celebrations. Both Mumbai and Pune, the two worst-affected cities of the state, have banned public and private celebrations of Holi.
In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has declared that strict action will be taken against violators of the ban, under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 and Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Odisha: As per special relief commissioner PK Jena’s statement to PTI, there will be extreme vigilance to ensure no Holi celebrations take place in the state. The government has also banned the “Dola Jatra” festival wherein people across the state take out processions carrying decorated idols of Lord Krishna and Devi Radha in a palanquin.
Uttar Pradesh: According to a report in Hindustan Times, senior citizens, children below 10, and co-morbid people must not participate in public celebrations in Uttar Pradesh. As per PTI, rain dance and other Holi programmes’ permission have been withdrawn in the state.
Madhya Pradesh: Celebrations have been withheld in the state. According to a report in LiveMint, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has requested people to stay indoors and follow COVID-19 guidelines.
With inputs from agencies
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