The holy city of Varanasi is gearing up to meet the rush of devotees during the month of 'Saawan' even as the coronavirus continues to spread.
With the holy month of 'Saawan' beginning on July 6, the district administration in Varanasi has warned that if any temple is found violating the guidelines of social distancing and checking crowding, the temple will be closed.
A huge number of devotees throng the various temples, particularly Shiva temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, during the auspicious month of 'Saawan'.
District Magistrate, Kaushal Raj Sharma, has asked the police to increase vigil on roads and around temples and identify spots where safety protocols are being violated.
Sharma said, "If crowding and violation of prescribed guidelines for social distancing is found at any temple, the temple will be closed immediately. No devotee will be allowed to move out before 5 am to offer prayers. Wearing a mask, using sanitizer and following norms of social distancing will be mandatory."
The District Magistrate has further ordered a two-hour drive, every morning, against those who violate the safety guidelines.
Devotees turn out in large numbers in the morning at the Ghats of Varanasi and in temples.
The officials have been directed to create awareness among people for prevention of spread of the virus through police or hired vehicles.
The additional city magistrates have been asked to keep a sharp vigil on shops, market-goers, auto and e-rickshaws to ensure that the norms of social distancing are maintained.