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    UP draws up plans to maintain COVID-19 protocols at Ram Temple Bhoomi Pujan

    Synopsis

    A senior official told ET that an area equivalent to the size of a football ground is being prepared in the 68-acre land parcel marked for the temple complex for seating around 200 guests who will attend the function by invitation.

    AFP
    NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh administration is working on a plan to ensure that social distancing norms and other Covid-19 protocols are followed during the “bhoomi pujan” ceremony for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on August 5.

    A senior official told ET that an area equivalent to the size of a football ground is being prepared in the 68-acre land parcel marked for the temple complex for seating around 200 guests who will attend the function by invitation.

    The official, who did not wish to be named, said wearing face masks will mandatory, hand sanitisers will be available at several points, comprehensive sanitisation measures will be undertaken, and 1.5m gap will be maintained between chairs for seating the guests.

    On Friday, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a petition seeking to restrain the ceremony in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. “The entire writ is based on assumptions and there is no foundation for apprehending violation of the prescribed protocol. We expect the organisers and government of UP would ensure all protocol available for social and physical distancing,” the court order said.

    The ‘Unlock-2’ guidelines, effective till July 31, do not allow religious or social functions and other large congregations and the states cannot dilute these guidelines. But religious places and places of worship were allowed to be opened since June 8 with social distancing measures.

    While issuing the ‘Unlock-1’ guidelines on May 30, the Centre had said a call for restarting religious or social functions and large congregations would be taken in phase-3, depending on the assessment of the situation.

    New guidelines for ‘Unlock Phase-3’ are expected soon. While the Sri Ram Janambhoomi Teerath Kshetra Trust has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the August 5function in Ayodhya, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is yet to confirm his participation. Officials say the visit is “likely”.

    The Trust has said that it had offered the PM two dates for the Bhoomi Pujan ceremony – July 29 and August 5--and the PM had chosen August 5.

    A senior UP government official in Lucknow said the programme will be held after due permission is taken from the district administration. “It will not be a large gathering--not more than 200-250 people--and the administration will be regulating the same,” the official said, claiming the central guidelines do not imply a blanket ban and certain flexibility is available with the state administrations.
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    2 Comments on this Story

    Skywalker First90 days ago
    Uttar Pradesh is the crime capital of India
    Binu Pillai90 days ago
    There is very less Covid in the BJP ruled states because there is less testing... Good strategy. Acha din ; Gujarat model..
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