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Jharkhand Unlock: Classes 6 to 8 to resume after 18-month gap, restaurants to remain open till 11 pm

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Devotees allowed inside religious places with restriction on numbers, Baba Dham to allow devotees through e-pass

Ranchi, September 14: Jharkhand government has allowed devotees inside religious places after nearly five months as part of the unlock process due to decrease in number of Covid cases in the state. 

At a meeting of the state disaster management department chaired by chief minister Hemant Soren on Tuesday evening at Ranchi, devotees were allowed inside the religious places—temples, masjids, churches and other worship places with certain riders.

Priests and clerics of the religious places should have mandatorily taken at least one jab of Covid vaccine. At important religious places earmarked by district administration (like Baba Baidyanath Dham in Deoghar) a maximum of 100 devotees would be allowed for an hour through e-pass provision while at other religious places 50 per cent of the capacity of the religious place will be allowed to worship with strict compliance of Covid appropriate behaviour.

“It will be mandatory to take at least one dose of vaccine from all the concerned persons like priest, panda, imam, pastor etc. involved in the operation of the religious place. A maximum of 100 persons will be able to enter in one hour through e-pass in religious places earmarked by the District Magistrate (deputy commissioners) such as Baba Dham Temple in Deoghar,” said a senior disaster management official who attended the meeting.

While in other religious places devotees have been permitted to gather at the religious place at 50 percent capacity of the place. Entry of a person below 18 years of age will be prohibited at all religious places.

Devotees would have to abide by Covid appropriate behaviour like maintaining social distancing will be mandatory, putting masks all the time.

For the Durga puja festival scheduled in October and considered one of the most popular festivals in Jharkhand, government has given permission for construction of puja pandals with certain restrictions.

There will be a ban on the entry of devotees in the pandal and there can be a gathering of  not more than 50% of the capacity  of the pandal or not more than 25 persons (whichever is less) at one point time in the pandal.Fairs and cultural events will continue to be prohibited as last year.

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The maximum height of the Durga idol will be 5 feet and there will be no entry gate or welcome gate at the pandals. Theme based pandals have been strictly prohibited and will have to surrounded on all three sides. Distribution of bhogs has also been prohibited and puja committee has not been allowed to distribute invitation cards to guests.  Only lights essential for the pandals has been allowed and fancy lightings has been prohibited. Entry of minors has been prohibited along with prohibition on immersion processions and setting up of food stalls or vendors near the Durga Puja pandals.

Immersion of the idols will be done at the place identified by the district administration and no person shall be without a mask in the pandal at any time.

Meanwhile, after nearly one and a half year, offline classes for middle classes (class six and eight) have been allowed  in all schools along with offline classes for all years of undergraduate and post graduate education in colleges.

All sports activities has been allowed to be organized without spectators.

And bars and restaurants will be allowed to open till 11 pm.

The order will be applicable within immediate effect. 

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