The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has issued orders banning Chhath Puja at public places, river banks and temples in Delhi, citing the coronavirus pandemic in the national capital.
An order issued by Chief Secretary and DDMA executive committee chairman Vijay Dev on Tuesday instructed all district magistrates (DMs) and deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) for strict compliance and to encourage people to celebrate Chhath at their homes during the pandemic.
It also directed the DMs and DCPs to hold meetings with religious and community leaders as well as Chhath Puja Samitis before the festival to ensure their cooperation to maintain law and order and harmony, and to sensitise the public on the compliance of guidelines and instructions to combat COVID-19.
The situation of COVID-19 in Delhi was reviewed and it had been observed that there is a persistent rise in COVID-19 cases in NCT of Delhi in the recent period, the order stated.
“Considering this, it has been decided that Chhath Pooja celebrations in the month of November 2020 may not be allowed in public places and people may be advised to celebrate the festival at their home only,” it said.
Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra questioned the order and said that it was issued as the AAP government failed to make adequate preparations for Chatth Puja. "This order banning Chhath Puja in Delhi will not be obeyed Arvind Kejriwal ji. Delhi government, which was the first to open liquor shops in the country, cannot issue an order to stop Chhath Puja. The AAP government banned Chhath Puja as it could not prepare for it. Chhath Puja will be performed," Mishra said in a Hindi tweet.
Chhath is an ancient Hindu Vedic festival which is mostly celebrated in Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh and the Madhesh region of Nepal. The Chhath Puja is dedicated to the God Surya and Shashthi devi (Chhathi Maiya) in order to thank them for bestowing the bounties of life on earth and to request the granting of certain wishes. Every year, lakhs of people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh observe Chhath in Delhi.