Sunday, March 26

Belur Math set to re-open today; Kalighat gets 5 disinfectant gates

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Belur Math, the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission, will re-open its gates to devotees on Monday with a slew ofmeasures, including hygiene and social distancing norms.

Old timings have been revised and devotees will now be allowed to enter from 9am to 11am and again from 4pm to 6pm.

Devotees who are more than 65 years old and children below 10 years will be not be allowed.

Meanwhile, a monk of Belur Math has reportedly contracted Covid-19. He has been admitted to Peerless Hospital and isreportedly doing well.

Sanitisation gates, meanwhile, have been installed at five entry points of Kalighat and the authorities held talks with the policefor additional security inside the temple before dates for re-opening are decided.

At Belur Math, a shamiana has been erected outside the entrance, where devotees will have to wait in the shade beforeproceeding for thermal scanning. This is because exposure to the sun might show a higher temperature. Foot-pedal dispenserswith sanitizers have been installed at the gate where devotees have to sanitize their hands. Visitors will have to stand and offerpranaam, no lying prostrate on the ground will be allowed. The authorities will also not allow devotees to sit and offer pranaamor meditate. Marks have been made for devotees to maintain six-feet distance and this has to be followed even while taking around of the main temple.

Visitors will not be allowed to visit Swami Vivekananda’s dwelling house, because senior monks meditate there. There will beno distribution of prasad at noon and the museum will also remain closed. “No one will be allowed to touch the feet of senior monks as is the custom in the evenings and even on the day of Guru Purnima, that is on July 5,” said general secretary of RKM,Swami Suvirananda.

The sanitisation gates were installed at Kalighat Temple on Sunday morning. The temple committee is, however, not too confident of re-opening the gates without assurance of additional police protection from Kalighat PS, as is done on special occasions like Kali Puja. “The space inside the temple is limited and we have limited manpower. Moreover, we have the custom of moving through a narrow passage towards the ‘garba griha’. The police cannot enter the ‘garba griha’ but till the point of entry into the sanctum sanctorum they will have to help us man the queue and ensure that no more than the permitted numbers enter the temple,” said Bidyut Haldar, vice president of the temple.

The officer in charge of Kalighat police station, Shantanu Sinha Biswas, said, “Preliminary informal talks have happened but we would like to get the requisition from the temple committee in writing before acting accordingly. The final meetings are pending.”

Source: Times Of India

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