Amid the rising coronavirus COVID-19 cases, the Delhi government on Thursday (November 12) decided to ban Chhath Puja celebrations at community ghats. The four-day Chhath Puja is held to worship the Sun and it is scheduled to begin November 18.
"The Delhi government has decided to ban community Chhath Puja celebrations at ghats to contain the spread of COVID-19," news agency ANI quoted Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, as saying.
Chhath Puja is a very popular festival in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Thursday ordered its officials to ensure that Chhath Puja is not performed at public places, river banks and temples in Delhi this year.
The DDMA has also issued directions to all district magistrates (DMs) and deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) to encourage people to observe puja at their homes as ensure strict compliance of the ban.
Meanwhile, Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra has slammed the Delhi government's decision to ban Chhath Puja at ghats. Mishra accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of failing to make adequate preparations for Chhath 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," he tweeted.
It is to be noted that COVID-19 cases in Delhi have registered a huge spike in the last few days. Delhi recorded its biggest single-day jump of 8,593 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. The total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi jumped to over 4.59 lakh, while 85 fatalities in the last 24 hours took Delhi's death toll to 7,228.