Gangasagar Mela: Calcutta HC grants permission, emphasizes need for e-bathing


Anushka Mansharamani

A division bench comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee of the Calcutta High Court granted permission for the Gangasagar Mela to take place this year and also for the holy dip.

The court directed that those seeking the holy dip must be encouraged to go for e-bathing and should be given free kits to do it when they come to the Mela ground.

The court further stated that those who ask for holy water via mail would be given and only postal charges would be applicable.

On 8th January this division bench passed an interim order and expressed their satisfaction with the security arrangements made for the Mela.

They further observed that the state government must encourage e-bathing and safety kiosks and e-bathing kits must be provided to those seeking to take the holy dip.

A Public Interest Litigation was filed by Ajoy Dey where he sought that if the Mela is held then the entire Sagar island should be declared as a containment zone.

The PIL further expresses doubts on whether people from other states would be able to maintain the social distancing norms and other instructions that are there in place due to a potential communication gap.

Earlier, Ajoy Dey had moved to the court seeking a slew of restrictions on the Durga and Kali puja celebrations.

The High Court has passed various instructions and issued notifications regarding the pre-conditions in order to ensure the prevention of the spread of the virus.

Approximately 54,000 people across the country have received the holy water from the confluence of the Ganga and the Bay of Bengal as the West Bengal government managed to arrange the ‘e-snan’ facility to avoid overcrowding at the Gangasagar Mela.

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