New Delhi [India], October 6 (ANI): Preparations at temples in Delhi is in full swing ahead of the Navratri festival as the Delhi government permitted the reopening of religious places for devotees from October 1 until October 15 with strict compliance to COVID-19 guidelines.
Dr Kishore Chawla, the chief executive officer of Chattarpur Mandir Trust, said, "The preparation for Navaratri is being done. The temple will be decorated like a bride. The festival of lights will also take place in the temple and the whole temple will be lightened. The gate of the goddess 'Mahishasura Mardini' will be open tomorrow for devotees."
Talking about the measures Chattarpur temple will be taking in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chawla said, "Keeping the government's COVID guidelines in mind, the temple administration has made all kinds of arrangements and local DCP and district magistrate have already visited the temple. A sanitiser tunnel has been installed at the entry gate. After passing the entry point, the thermal screening will be done."
"For social distancing, shift-wise sevadars will be performing their duties at parking points, langar. During the second wave, DRDO had develop a UV machine that will be there in all our courtyards. There will be only one entry point and one exit point. As we have a large area, so in case of crowd gathering, we have cemented holding areas. We will keep the devotees there. Everyone will be released from there to offer prayer at the temple. For queue management, sevadar will be there and help the devotees to maintain proper social distancing. Circles have also been made. Hand sanitisers are kept at different places. Masks will be given to the devotees just in case they don't have one. Langar will be distributed to the devotees in a packed container," he added.
Chawla further said that the temple will be broadcasting the 'aarti' on our Youtube and Facebook channels and requested the people from age of 0-12 and above 65 years to offer prayers at home and avoid gathering.
"We have started a new way with which the entry to the devotees will be given through the token system. They can get the token from our website so that they'll have their slot timing and won't be coming before their scheduled time. For people who don't have the access to the website, we will distribute tokens to them at the temple. They will stand in the queue according to their token," he stated.
Ashu, the priest at Kalka Ji Temple said, "The arrangements will be done by today evening at the temple. Proper arrangement of lightning has been done. The effort is to decorate the temple as grand as possible for the devotees. Kalkaji Temple is an old temple and all the devotees are excited to visit the temple as it's been almost two years that devotees haven't offered prayers. The only way to avoid gathering is not to offer prasad."
Mentioning the order passed by Delhi High Court, Peethaseen Mahant Surendranath Avdhoot said, "Delhi High Court has appointed its former Judge JR Midha as an administrator to manage the Kalkaji Mandir in South Delhi. He is taking care of the arrangements. As far as I know, the entrance to the temple is from the side of Kamal temple and the exit will be from the Mahant Parisar area. Not only devotees but priests and mahants are also not allowed to go to Yagyashala."
Speaking to ANI regarding the preventive steps to be taken at Kalkaji Temple, the priest said, "As you can see that we are offering prasad outside, but from tomorrow when the Navratri will be started, then prasad will not be offered. So, I request all the devotees not to bring prasad to the temple. If they will bring prasad, then there are chances of crowd gathering. This is one of the major decisions we have taken following the guidelines of the High Court."
Jhandewala Temple Trustee Ravindra Goyal said, "After so long, permission to reopen the temple has been granted. So, we all are very excited including the devotees. We have made our preparation in a very limited time. Most of the arrangements has been done."
The festival of Navratri will be observed from October 7 till October 15. (ANI)