The Jagannath temple complex where Utkal Sanskrutika Samaj will perform Kalasa Puja instead of idol puja due to COVID-19 restrictions in Visakhapatnam. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam
Visakhapatnam: The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions imposed by the authorities will cast its shadow on the forthcoming Durga Puja celebrations in Andhra Pradesh.
Visakhapatnam, the Executive Capital proposed by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy Government, lacks the enthusiasm for the festival, which is traditionally observed every year by thousands of Odia and Bengali residents.
Sarbojanin and East Coast Railway Durga Puja Committee, popularly known as Waltair Kalibari has decided to give a brake to fanfare with which it generally celebrates. “This time it will be a lowkey event due to the decision to follow COVID SOPs,” committee member Alok Dutta said.
Utkal Sanskrutika Samaj, the premier socio-culutural organisation of Odias, has decided to conduct Kalasa Puja. As idols are not available, the puja will be observed symbolically in the Jagannath Temple Complex, Samaj president J.K. Nayak and general secretary Bimal Mohanta told the Odisha Channel. The Samaj has resolved not to invite anyone and not to perform bhajans and kirtans.
As per restrictions being enforced by the authorities, gatherings and cultural programmes are totally banned to prevent spread of coronavirus. Wearing masks and social distancing are made a must for the devotees.
Due to restrictions, Utsava, an outfit formed by some HPCL employees and doctors will not celebrate puja at Amcosa Auditorium. The Navy employees will also abstain from celebration at Naval Park whereas it will be a token celebration at One Town area and Vizag Steel Plant’s Ukkunagaram township.