Budgam, Aug 17: The district administration Budgam on Monday decided to open all the religious places including two major shrines in the district from Tuesday.
According to an order, a copy of which lies with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reads that the new guidelines permit opening of religious places for the public, subject to separate SOP for the said purpose. “Meeting was held with the religious scholars/ Imams, Administrator Auqaf, in which SOPs were discussed threadbare for their implementation and observance.”
“Now therefore, in view of new guidelines for opening of religious places (order No. 75-JK (DMRRR) of 2020 dated 11-08-22020), I District Magistrate, Budgam in exercise of
powers vested in me under relevant provisions of Disaster Management Act 2005, and in line with section 2 of the epidemic Diseases Act, 1987, it is hereby ordered to open all religious place/ places of worship within the territorial jurisdiction of District Budgam subject to following conditions;” order reads.
“Organizations managing the affairs of various places of worship, shrines are mandatorily required to set up COVID-19 safety Committees, which may consist of their volunteers, employees. These Committees shall be required to ensure adherence to the SOP at all times,” it added.
The order further reads that persons above 60 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years shall not visit such places. “Organizations managing the religious institutions are required to enforce this at their level,” it said, adding that the visitors are required to maintain distances of 6 feet from each other in these places at all times, even when queuing up for entry.
Visitors, pilgrims are to be allowed entry only if they are using face covers or mask, it said, adding that “Only asymptomatic persons would be allowed entry into the premises after preliminary temperature check up by the institutional Management Committee. People should be made wash their hands and feet with soap and water before entering the premises. Necessary facilities shall be provided for this purpose by the organizations managing the premises.”
“Touching of statue, idols or Holy books etc, should not be permitted. Large congregational gatherings shall not be allowed inside premises till further
orders. Physical offerings like sprinkling of Holy Water, Presad (Tubaruk) etc should not be allowed. Sanitization of the premises should be done at regular intervals, for which the time should be fixed by the managing organizations. Frequent cleaning and disinfection roster should be maintained by management of each place of worship,” the order reads.
“Installation and use of Aarogya Setu App shall be mandatory for all visitors. Staggering of visitors should be done to prevent any crowding/overcrowding. Common prayer mats/ Durrees should not be used and wherever required, devotees shall carry their own individual mats which shall be taken along,” the order added.
“Visitors, pilgrims be allowed on rotational basis for very less time. There has to be very effective sanitization of lavatories, hand and foot washing stations/ areas, railings, door knobs, etc. Sanitization staff or volunteers have to be provided necessary disinfectants prescribed by Ministry of Health and Welfare, Gol,” the order said.
Proper disposal of face covers or masks, gloves and other leftovers by the pilgrims should be ensured by the Committees. All places of Worships will maintain a list of persons with contactable details) entering their places, which may be required for the purpose of contact tracing subsequently by the concerned quarters.
Major shrines like Charar-e-Sharief, Pakherpora, etc where devotees visit from all parts of Kashmir, shall be required to take special precautions. These shrines shall permit only a limited number of visitors, devotees from outside J&K.
These shrines shall setup a system of registration of visitors, devotees and only registered devotees, subject to an upper limit, to be decided by the organization, Boards managing these shrines in consultation with concerned administrator, shall be allowed.
After each prayer mosques, shrines should be sanitized by the Managing Committee. The worshiper be asked to do Wadu at home and only Fard Nimaz (Prayer) may be conducted in mosques and rest of Nimaz should be performed at homes.