Jaipur, Sep 6 (PTI) Some major religious places in Rajasthan, including the Ajmer Sharif Dargah, will reopen on Monday as per the 'Unlock-4' guidelines issued by the Centre in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state government has allowed religious places to reopen from September 7 and has asked them to adhere to social distancing and other COVID-19 guidelines under 'Unlock-4'.
Religious places were closed after the Centre imposed a nationwide lockdown in March to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The 'Unlock' process began on June 8 and so far, the central government has implemented four phases.
The Tripura Sundari temple in Banswara, the Dargah of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer, the Siddh Hanuman Mandir in Bharatpur, the Kaila Devi and Madan Mohan temples in Karauli and the Galiyakot Dargah are among the major religious places in the state that will reopen on Monday.
However, managements of many religious places expressed their inability to reopen amid the pandemic. The Govind Dev and Moti Dungri Ganesh temples in Jaipur, the Nathdwara temple in Rajsamand, the Khatu Shyam temple in Sikar, the Karni Mata temple in Bikaner, the Salasar Balaji temple in Churu are among those which will remain closed.
Jaipur Collector Antar Singh Nehra told PTI that barring a few, most religious places in the state capital will not be opening tomorrow.
The authorities of religious places have expressed inability to reopen in view of the pandemic, he said. In Ajmer, all preparations for reopening the Ajmer Sharif Dargah have been completed.
On Sunday, the shrine premises was sanitised and circles were drawn six-feet apart to ensure social distancing by devotees.
Dargah committee chairman Amin Pathan said that all preparations have been completed and the entire dargah premises was sanitised with alcohol-free sanitisers on Sunday.
He said that arrangements for thermal scanning, washing hands and sanitisers have been made at all entry and exit points.
Pathan said announcements for maintaining social distancing will be made regularly.
He said that a 'Dua' will be performed on Monday at the dargah to portect the world from the pandemic.
Dargah Diwan Zainul Abedin Ali Khan and All India Sufi Sajjadanashin Council chairman Nasiruddin Chisty appealed to pilgrims to follow guidelines of the state government, and requested the elderly and the sick to avoid visiting the shrine in view of the pandemic.
Karauli Collector Sidharth Sihag said that the Kaila Devi and Madan Mohan temples will be reopened as per guidelines, while Bikaner Collector Namit Mehta said that major temples like the Karni Mata temple in Deshnok and the Kapil temple, among others, will remain closed.
The Tripura Sundari Temple Trust's former president Ashok Panchal said that arrangements to ensure social distancing have been made in the temple and pilgrims will be able to visit from Monday.
Krishna Singh of the Siddha Hanuman temple in Weir in Bharatpur said that priests have been chanting the Hanuman mantra for the last 20 days to protect the world from the coronavirus.
'From tomorrow, pilgrims will be able to visit the temple regularly,' he said.
The priest of the Salasar Balaji temple in Churu, Kamal Kishore, said that thousands of people visit the temple daily and it will not be appropriate for reopening the temple now.
'In view of this, the temple will remain closed for people this month,' he said.
Rajsamand Collector Arvind Kumar Poswal said that the Nathdwara temple will not be opening. PTI SDA ANB ANB