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Ramlila to Be Held in Physical Form This Year in Delhi, Say Organisers

An artist dressed as demon king Ravana waits backstage before performing Ramlila. (Image: Danish Siddiqui/ Reuters)

An artist dressed as demon king Ravana waits backstage before performing Ramlila. (Image: Danish Siddiqui/ Reuters)

The representatives of the Ramlila committees met the DDA vice chairman and commissioners of the municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs), who have allowed booking of their grounds, he said.

Over 60 Ramlila organisation committees have decided to hold the event in its physical form this year in Delhi and they have the nod of DDA, MCDs and ASI to use their grounds, Lav Kush Ramlila Committee secretary Arjun Kumar said on Tuesday. The representatives of the Ramlila committees met the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) vice chairman and commissioners of the municipal corporations of Delhi (MCDs), who have allowed booking of their grounds, he claimed.

Delhi Dharmik Mahasangh, general secretary and BJP leader Ashok Goel said a delegation will soon meet the Delhi lieutenant governor and the Union minister of state for home to seek their help to allow holding of Ramlila in the wake of a controlled situation of COVID-19 in the city. The mahasangh is an umbrella organisation of Ramlila committees in the national capital.

Sources in the North Delhi Municipal Corporation said while NDMC authorities have given verbal approval to hold Ramlila events on its grounds and parks, the final call will be taken by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on the modalities. The authority, at present, prohibits any sort of religious gatherings. The number of visitors could be restricted to the venues or other protocols need to be followed, they said. Multiple calls and text messages to DDA officials did not elicit any response. “Over 60 committees met today at the Jhandewalan temple and it was decided that we will hold Ramlila celebrations this year, for which all organisers have to take permission to book DDA, MCD or ASI (Archaeological Society of India ) grounds," Kumar said.

Booking of grounds has been started by the DDA and the MCDs, Delhi Dharmik Mahasangh general secretary Goel claimed. According to the latest Covid guidelines, the DDMA prohibits any sort of religious gatherings in the national capital.

Kumar added that now they only needed permission and license from the Delhi police to organise Ramlila. The new DDMA guidelines should be issued in a few days, he said. “We hope the DDMA guidelines will allow Ramlila, perhaps with distanced seating and fairs may not be allowed. Now that bookings for grounds are open, we are hopeful," he added.

Even though the Delhi government had allowed Ramlila celebration last year with strict guidelines, most organisers had refrained from holding the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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first published:September 07, 2021, 23:07 IST