‘COVID norms should be adhered to in letter and spirit’
Observing that it was not against any religious activity, Telangana High Court on Wednesday directed different government authorities and Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samiti to present suggestions for smooth conduct of Ganesh festival and subsequent grand immersion of idols.
Hearing a contempt of court matter arising out of pleas pertaining to immersion of Ganesh idols in the Hussainsagar, the HC instructed the commissioners of GHMC and Hyderabad Police and the Samiti to file affidavits listing out implementable suggestions with regard to Ganesh Chaturthi. A Bench of Acting Chief Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao and Justice T. Vinod Kumar passed the directions.
“We respect each and every religion…in the midst of pandemic and reports of possible outbreak of a third wave, huge congregations can create a havoc,” the Acting CJ observed. He said that all suggestions and advice given by the respondents would be included in the order to be passed on Monday for peaceful conduct of the festival.
Special Government Pleader Harender Pershad informed the court that 16 baby ponds were created in GHMC jurisdiction. Devotees can use them for immersion of idols, lessening pollution of Hussain Sagar in which majority of idols would be immersed on the day of grand finale procession.
Organisers of all Ganesh pandals were instructed to own up responsibility for following COVID guidelines. They were urged not to use idols made of chemicals, artificial colours and plaster of paris, he said.
The Bench observed that all stakeholders must focus on crucial points like imposing a radius of restriction at Ganesh pandals, restricting volumes of loud speakers and minimising movement of devotees on Tank Bund and Necklace Road on the day of immersion. All should ensure COVID norms were adhered to in letter and spirit.
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