U.P govt to go ahead with the Ayodhya Ram Navami Mela despite coronavirus

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 17, 2020 Published on March 17, 2020

Even as the Coronavirus outbreak is leading to precautionary measures elsewhere in the country, the Uttar Pradesh government is pushing ahead with the millennia-old Ayodhya Ram Navami Mela, which would attract lakhs of pilgrims from across the country, according to an article in The Print.

The mela or the fair will be held from March 25 to April 2.

The article said that this is despite the concerns over the implications of crowd gatherings flagged by Ghyanshyam Singh, the Ayodhya chief medical officer.

UP’s Yogi Adityanath-led administration itself had also issued advisories against mass gatherings, including for Holi, with the Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) also calling off the India-South Africa ODI matches scheduled to be held in Lucknow and Kolkata this month, it said.

This ceremony will be led by the Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust, which is overseeing the Ram temple construction in Ayodhya, the article said.

Singh has been raising concerns over how the attendees can possibly be screened and protected from infection, The Print said. The CMO cited the chief minister’s advice against large gatherings to say they didn’t have “infrastructure to screen and hand out masks to 5 lakh people”, the article said.

“I have advised the district administration to cancel the Ram Navami mela this time,” he said, as per The Print article.

However, The Print quoted Anuj Kumar Jha, Ayodhya district magistrate, a member of the Ram temple construction committee, as saying, "This is part of the tradition and we will take precautions but there is no plan to cancel the Ram Navami mela. The district administration has been making preparations for the past one month.”

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Published on March 17, 2020
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