Berhampur: The Ganjam district administration has imposed prohibitory orders in an area here to prevent crowds during the annual Maa Kalua Yatra, an official said.
Section 144 of the CrPC will be from the Kalua temple to a pandal in Gosani Nuagam, the official said Wednesday.
The prohibitory order has been imposed as there were apprehensions of possible spread of COVID-19 infection, Berhampur Sub-Collector Keerti Vasan said.
The makeshift structure was erected by the festival organisers to install the idol via Kalua Sahi and Bada Sahi from Tuesday evening till further order, Vasan said.
The 16-day festival will end on the day of Kumar Purnima on October 20.
During the festival, a huge procession is conducted in the route from Kalua temple to the temporary pandal every night, as the Goddess visited the streets.
On the first day of the festival on Tuesday night, several people participated in a procession when the deity was brought from the temple to make-shift pandal.
It is in accordance with the guidelines of the government for observance of Durga Puja and similar festivals till November, said Vasan.
The administration, however, allowed the organisers to conduct the traditional festival without public participation.
Like the Durga Puja, the make-shift pandal for the festival should be indoor-like with covering from three sides. There will be no public address or entertainment programme during the period.
A maximum of seven persons will be allowed in the pandal, including the priests and organisers, to perform rituals. All of them have to follow Covid guidelines like wearing masks, maintaining social distance and hand wash, the order said.
Any person violating the order will be booked under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, as well as under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemic Diseases Act, he warned.