Bhubaneswar, Feb 9: The historic Mahgha Saptami Mela, popularly known as Khandagiri Mela, will not be organised here in Odisha this year in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation, according to an order issued by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Tuesday.
“There is apprehension that maintenance of social distancing as per the COVID-19 safety protocol will not be possible due to expected large congregation which will endanger the public safety, the Mahgha Saptami Mela (Khandagiri Mela) will not be held this year,” BMC’s order read.
However, the usual rituals related to Magha Saptami will be allowed with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, the order stated.
It also said that due to the ongoing expansion work of NH-5 the Khandagiri road being used is extremely narrow and there will be serious traffic. Law and order issue due to congregation of large number of people will emerge and there is no space available in the road to accommodate temporary erection of stalls.
“Some Jatra Committees also proposed the civic body to submit undertaking to abide by the COVID-19 safety protocols and suggested that they will erect Opera Pandals stalls from Jagamara Melana Padia towards Khandagiri Hill and from Khandagiri Hill Sauchalaya to Sibananda School. Also there was representation from an organisation not to holding the Mela in view of the Pandemic,” the civic body said.