Ban on large gatherings became a new normal during the pandemic. With almost all the countries restricting the gathering of more than 30 people (it varies) at a ceremony, people have gotten used to it. COVID-19 induced tons of small and intimate weddings and other celebrations in Indian households. Who would have thought Indian people will have their weddings with only 20-30 people? However, with the restrictions getting lift-off and the festive season approaching, it was the question of the Indian populace of how they would carry on with the festivities. Most of the areas in the country are still in restriction. However, Delhi lifted off the ban to hold large gatherings for Durga Puja.
Delhi citizens will have no ban on large gatherings for Durga Puja
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority lifted off the ban on large gatherings to allow Navratri and Durga Puja functions. This means that even amidst the COVID-19 cases at its peak, the authorities are willing to not restrict gatherings. Whatsoever, Delhi chief secretary Vijay Dev issued the same order. On Sunday, October 11, 2020, the order said, “The restriction on gathering and large congregations stands withdrawn only to the extent of allowing gatherings for the celebration of upcoming festivals till 31st October 2020, only.”
However, despite the order, few aware and conscious Ramlila committees denied holding any event this year. They realize that it is a question of this year that they have to stay vigilant. Aside from the lifting of the ban on large gatherings, the order also said that organizers will need permission from the district magistrate. There are 11 districts in Delhi. Hence, it is in the power of each district magistrate to allow the organization of any event.
The issued guidelines for the festive gatherings
The order also included guidelines that every organizer has to follow. The District Magistrate and District DCP jointly will permit the event. However, before granting, they will ask for an inspection report from the executive Magistrate, Area SHO, and Licensing Inspector of the Municipal Corporation. This report will specify whether the site concerned is suitable for the gathering or not. The DM and DC will appoint a nodal officer at each site of Ramleela gathering. If the hall is closed, a maximum of 200 people will be allowed. However, the hall’s 50 percent of space will only cover under occupation. According to the social distancing norms, the DM will specify the capacity for open space. With cases in India crossing 76 lakh, the decision will further state how the face of Delhi will change with ban on large gatherings lifted.