“Large congregation for celebration of ‘Utkal Divas’ on April 1 and associated cultural programmes shall not be allowed throughout the State,” said an order issued by the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC).
“The official meeting/ celebration of Utkal Divas shall be made with a maximum of 200 participants. COVID- 19 safety protocols like social distancing, use of masks, use of soap and water/ sanitizers shall be strictly adhered to. Other activities during the day shall be avoided,” read the order.
“Other organisations and private institutions willing to observe 'Utkal Divas' shall take prior approval from the local administration i.e. Collector or Municipal Commissioner or any officer duly authorised by Collector or Municipal Commissioner in this regard, subject to ceiling and strictly adhering to Covid-19 safety protocols,” it added.
Earlier in the day, the SRC imposed restrictions on congregation of people during the celebration of the ensuing festivals like Jhamu, Danda Nacha, Sriram Navami, Good Friday, Pana Sankranti etc.
The SRC also directed Collectors and Municipal Commissioners to impose appropriate restrictions on entry of devotees into churches, temples and other religious places to mark the occasions considering their local conditions. They have been asked to decide the number of persons to attend any such religious ritual / festival in their respective jurisdictions with strict adherence to Covid guidelines.
Persons found violating the order will be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws, added the SRC.