Visakhapatnam: Spontaneously responding to the appeal by the authorities to refrain from indulging in fanfare, the people in Andhra Pradesh observed Durga Puja in a simple manner on Sunday.
This is the second time the devotees mostly preferred to stay indoors and opted for lowkey celebration after abstaining from Diwali festivities in the aftermath of Hudhud cyclone which crippled industrial production and normal life in October, 2014.
The State Government had appealed to the puja organisers to adhere to Standard Operating Procedure issued after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by WHO.
Governor Biswa Bhushan Harichandan and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy while greeting the people on the occasion of Dussehra, advised them to observe social distancing and make the celebration a simple event.
Puja celebration by East Coast Railway Kalibari, Vizag Steel Plant, Eastern Naval Command employees and several Bengali organisations and others saw thin turnout.
Many observed Kalasa Puja without bhajans and kirtans and distribution of bhog.
Odias observed Durga Puja in a simple manner at the Jagannath temple complex in Visakhapatnam. Utkal Sanskrutika Samaj organised Kalasa puja by adhering to Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the government. Navy, Railways and various public and private sector industries have employed a large number of people from neighboring Odisha. Samaj president J.K. Nayak and general secretary Bimal Mohanta thanked the members for their necessary to observe COVID-19 SOPs specified by the authorities.
The Samaj also celebrated annual Rath Yatra symbolically without taking out the ceremonial procession to the Gundicha Ghar.