Chennai: Tamilnadu government today said that Vinayagar Chathurthi celebrations will not be allowed on streets and roads this year due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
An order in this regard has been issued at a time when Hindu Munnani chief Kaadeswar Subramaniam said that one lakh Vinayagar idols will be placed across the State for the festival.
The government order said that since the lockdown is in effect permission will not be granted to place idols of Vinayagar, hold functions, take the idols in a procession or immerse them in waterbodies.
“People are requested to celebrate the festival in their house. People should wear mask and follow social distancing while going to buy things needed to celebrate the festival,” the order said.
It also said that since permission has been already granted to open small temples, devotees and management should ensure that lockdown norms are followed during the festival. On 8 August, the Tamilnadu government granted permission to allow devotees inside small places of worship within Corporation limits.
A statement from Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that Temples, Mosques and Churches with annual income of less than Rs 10,000 can be opened.
“Standard operating procdedures should be followed inside the temple premises. Permission to open the temples should be sought from the respective District Collectors. As far as Chennai is concerned, permission should be sought from Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner,” he said.
The rules include prohibition for physical offerings like prasadam, distribution or sprinkling of holy water to be allowed inside the religious place. Offerings such as coconut, fruits and flowers shall not be allowed. During poojas and abishekam, the public must not be allowed to sit inside and witness the event, the SOP said.
In view of the potential health issues, devotees may be discouraged to do prostration /angapradhatchanam till normalcy returns.