Religious sites in Maharashtra to reopen today
Religious sites in Maharashtra are reopening for devotees to offer prayers starting Monday after several months of closure due to the closure imposed in an attempt to control the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) reported on Saturday that all religious sites including temples, shrines, churches, dargahs, etc. in the state will be able to reopen for devotees from November 16.
In particular, prominent religious sites across the state, including the Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi, the Mahim Dargah in Mumbai, and the Dagdusheth Halwai Temple in Pune, have been prepared for reopening to devotees.
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The doors of the places of worship were opened after midnight for administration officials to clean and disinfect the facilities before they reopened for devotees to offer morning prayers.
“After midnight, the doors of the Dargah Sharif were opened and management officials entered the premises. After cleaning, the dargah will be opened for the devotees for Namaz early in the morning, ”said Mahim Dargah Trustee Suhail Y Khandwani.
Khandwani also urged people to cooperate with the Dargah government and administration to ensure that people can offer prayers without risking further exposure to Covid-19.
“People have been waiting for more than eight months. Government standard operating procedures and internal dargah standard operating procedures will be followed. We have created dashboards with the government and Dargah SOPs. Only those wearing a mask will be allowed to enter the facilities and their temperature will be recorded before entering, “he said.
The Dagdusheth Halwai Temple in Pune has also carried out a complete remediation process for the temple facilities and has arranged for adherence to the Covid-19 protocol.
Speaking to ANI, Sunil Rasne, vice president of the temple foundation, said: “For now, we will not allow devotees to wait outside or offer prasad and flowers here. They are only allowed to take darshan and leave the place immediately. “
The administration of the Sai Baba temple in Shirdi said it will only allow visitors inside the premises after an online reservation for a specific time.
“Devotees who want to visit will have to make a reservation online to get a time for ‘darshan.’ Along with this, people will also have to show a Covid negative RT-PCR result at the door. Elderly people, children and pregnant women will not be allowed to enter the temple, ”said a representative of the temple administration.
“We have made arrangements to control the crowd in the temple. People will be assigned time slots online to visit. Only 6,000 people will be allowed into the temple in one day. The temple will only remain open for 14 hours ”, added the representative.
Religious sites across the state have been closed since March this year, when the central government imposed a complete lockdown to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.