New Delhi: The Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Sunday issued fresh set of guidelines, including strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, for holding congregations and large events ahead of Durga Puja and Ramleela celebrations. In an order, Delhi Chief Secretary and Chairman of DDMA’s state executive committee Vijay Dev said all event organisers will have to obtain requisite permission from concerned district magistrates for organising the events besides obtaining permission from other authorities as per applicable laws and rules.
It may be noted that the restriction on gatherings and large congregations imposed by DDMA order on September 30, stands withdrawn to the extent of allowing gatherings and congregations for celebration of upcoming festivals till October 31 only, said the order. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority order said fairs, ‘melas’, food-stalls (inside and outside the event venues), ‘jhoolas, rallies, exhibitions and processions will not be permitted during festivals in Delhi till October 31.
“In case of any violation of SOPs and guidelines, the permission granted for conducting such programme or event will be withdrawn immediately for subsequent days," it said. “Each such permission (which is applied to District Magistrate) shall be jointly granted by District Magistrate and District DCP on the basis of joint inspection report of area Executive Magistrate, area SHO and Licensing Inspector of Municipal Corporation which shall clearly certify that the festival/celebration site is suitable for the conduct of the event and meets all the stipulations laid down in this order and the standard operating procedure," the order said.
The concerned district magistrate and deputy commissioners of police will appoint an officer of suitable seniority as nodal officer for each site and venue of Ramleela, Puja Pandal etc, said the order. These nodal officers will be responsible to ensure strict compliance of the DDMA order and the Health ministry’s standard operating procedures (SOP) as well as other guidelines issued by the central government, Delhi government and the DDMA.
Capacity of each event site will be decided on the basis of the area and social distancing norms laid down in the Ministry of Home Affairs order issued on September 30. In closed space, a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons, it said, adding that in open spaces, keeping the size of the ground or space in view, and with the strict observance of social distancing norms.
The seating capacity for each such site must be determined strictly according to the norms mandated for ensuring social distancing and observance of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour and this capacity shall be certified by District Magistrate and District DCP, said the order. Event organisers will ensure separate entry and exit at each event site , ground or venue which will be strictly regulated and only people with face mask will be allowed, it added.
The Ministry of Health & FamilyWelfare (MoHFW) issued standard operating procedures (SOP) on October 6, on preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 during festival season. Database of all event sites permitted in the district must be maintained by District Magistrate and a consolidated database of all such event sites inDelhi will be maintained by Divisional Commissioner of Delhi government, said the order.
Every organiser or organising committee will be responsible for conducting videography of the event or programme from start to end on a daily basis. A soft copy of the unedited video recording in pen-drive and a certificate, certifying that no violation of the SOPs, guidelines took place, will be submitted to nodal officers of respective event sites, within three hours of closing of the event or programme of each day, it said.
District Magistrates will also make arrangement for sample videography of the permitted event sites to ensure adherence to social distancing and other relevant norms. A certificate, jointly signed by District Magistrate and District DCP will be submitted to the Chief Secretary, Delhi on daily basis about the status of compliance ofSOPs, guidelines by all the event organisers in the district. At the event sites, related to festivities, no person will be allowed in standing or squatting position. Only seating on chairs with social distancing norms will be allowed, it said.
Suitable arrangements will be made for adequate number of temporary toilets and other public facilities like electricity, water, sanitizers and thermal screeners at each site venue. In case, any violation of the DDMA order is noticed by the inspection teams, the organizers of the event as well as other persons responsible, will be proceeded as per the provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005, and notification of Delhi government’s Health department dated June13, besides initiation of legal action under section 188 of IPC and other provisions of relevant law, added the order.
The Chief Secretaryhas directed all authorities, field functionaries to ensure strict compliance of the Health ministry SOP, as well as additional measures, suggested on the basis of local assessment for effective management of COVID-19 in Delhi, till August 31.
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