The Gujarat government on Tuesday announced relaxation in night curfew time in eight metros and other concessions from coronavirus-induced restrictions during the coming Janmashtami and Ganesh festivals.
Instead of the usual 11 pm, the night curfew will be in force from 1 am on August 30 to facilitate the celebration of Janmashtami, and from 12 midnight during September 9 to 19 for the Ganesh festival in the cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Surat, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Gandhinagar and Junagadh.
The decision was taken after a meeting of the state’s core committee on the COVID-19 pandemic situation chaired by chief minister Vijay Rupani, an official release said.
Besides, traditional Janmashtami processions will be allowed with a limited number of participants on August 30, officials said.
But the “matki fod” events (during which clay pots filled with curd are broken) and local fairs organized on the occasion of Janmashtami would not be allowed.
Installation of up to four feet tall Ganesh idols in public pandals and up to two feet tall idols at home will be allowed.
Social distancing norms will have to be followed both at Janmashtami and Ganesh celebration venues, and devotees will have to move in circles for darshan to ensure a distance of two feet with the total number of participants at any given moment not exceeding 200, the official release said.
“Only the rituals of prayer-aarti and distribution of prasad are allowed at public Ganeshotsav places. No other religious and cultural programs can be organized,” said the release.
On immersion days, not more than 15 people will be allowed in a vehicle carrying idols to water bodies.