Pune: Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations have denied permission for Chhath puja celebration at public places, including riverbeds, dams and open grounds.
The main day of the four-day festival falls on Friday this year. It is celebrated by residents hailing from Bihar, Jharkhand and other parts of north and east India where women fast and offer prayers to the Sun god near water bodies.
While Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) issued the order on Wednesday, its Pune counterpart (PMC) released it on Thursday, after the state government issued the guidelines on Wednesday.
The authorities have asked police to ramp up vigilance near public water bodies.
PMC has appealed to people to conduct rituals at home and follow the Covid prevention measures while performing Chhath puja.
“We generally go to Khadakwasla dam during Chhath Puja, but this time it will be a different experience as there will be no gathering of friends. Our group has decided to have video calls after the puja,” said Kinjal Yadav, a resident of Aundh.
“Every year we used to celebrate the festival at Jhulelal ghat, Pimpri. With an appeal for cracker-less Diwali and possible Covid spread, the members of our housing society have decided to avoid mass gathering. There is nothing wrong in celebrating the festival at home,” said Mehul Kaushik, a native of Ranchi and staying in Pimpri since five years.
Manju Yadav, who resides at Kharadi and hails from Varanasi, said, “We have decided to celebrate the festival at home. As the festival involves preparation of ‘prasad’ made in ‘Ganga Jal’ on traditional ‘clay çhulha’, we have decided to get the mud from neighbourhood rather than visiting public water bodies. We will perform the rituals at water tub and follow the Covid prevention guidelines given by the authorities.”
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