Covid-19: Maharashtra under pressure to open up temples to devotees

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 22, 2020

Further relaxation may occur after festival season, if cases are low

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray visited the Osmanabad district on Wednesday to inspect the crop damage and interact with the farmers in the region.

On the occasion, he visited the area around the famous Tulja Bhavani Mata temple but did not enter the premises due to the State government Covid guidelines, which have restricted temple entry for all the devotees. He prayed outside the main entrance of the temple.

The Thackeray government has opened up all the activities except places of worship, gyms, swimming pools and local trains in the state.

However, his government is under tremendous stress to open up the temples, especially larger ones such as Shirdi’s Sai Baba temple and Shri Vitthal Rukmini at Pandharpur.

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Several temple towns in Maharashtra had a thriving local economy due to the continuous arrivals of pilgrims. After lockdown this whole economy has come to a complete standstill. The earning of such towns rises by a factor during the festive season due to the massive rush of the pilgrims.

A senior Maharashtra Government official told BusinessLine that a lot will depend on the Diwali holidays and resuming of local train services. If the Covid numbers do not spike after these events, then it will prove that people developed a herd immunity and then further relaxation can happen.

Published on October 22, 2020

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