Mumbai, November 17: The Chhath Puja this year would not be held at the beaches, riverbanks and ponds of Mumbai. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a statement on Monday confirming that the Chhath Puja festivities would not be allowed alongside the water bodies in the city due to COVID-19 concerns.
A section of the city's Bihari migrant population had appealed the government to relax the norms, in order to allow them to hold the Chhath Puja on Friday, November 20.
The ritual is performed alongside water bodies, and the puja activities witness the gathering of several devotees each year at Juhu, Girgaum and other beaches in and around Mumbai.
BMC Declines Permission For Chhath Puja
No Chhath Puja allowed at beaches, riverbanks, ponds in Mumbai: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
— ANI (@ANI) November 17, 2020
Earlier, speculations were rife that the government may permit Chhath Puja, as the number of COVID-19 cases have drastically reduced in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra. The state capital is recording 400-500 cases per day, which is the lowest since May. The active tally of infections in the city has dropped below 10,000.
Apart from the Mumbai civic body, the governments of Delhi, Haryana and Gujarat have also decided to not to allow Chhath Puja celebrations due to the possibility of overcrowding, which may lead to the virus transmission. In Jharkhand, however, the government has decided to permit the observance of festival rituals in accordance to the COVID-19 safety norms.