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HC Appointed Committee Visits Gangasagar to Check Arrangements; Pilgrims Flout Covid Protocols

Thousand of pilgrims from neighbouring states on their way to the Gangasagar Mela were found thronging the premises. Despite the efforts of the administration, pilgrims were seen flouting all covid norms. Though some were found wearing masks, social distancing was not followed at all.

At every entry point, the state Government officials were placed for checking RTPCR reports and vaccination certificates. Commenting on the situation, an officer appointed at one such checkpoint said “with so many pilgrims coming at one go, it is becoming difficult to check everyone.”

Though Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too had requested pilgrims to follow court covid appropriate behavior, how much of it can be practiced in reality is still uncertain.

As per the court order, two committee members will be stationed to monitor Gangasagar covid protocol and the moment they feel the situation is slipping out of their hands, they will alert the government. This 2-member new monitoring committee comprises of Retd Justice Samapti Chattopadhyay and a member of state legal services authority.

On Wednesday evening, a court-appointed two-member committee reached Sagar island. They had an hour-long meeting with the district administration in which various issues were discussed. Sources say certain suggestions were given and how to maintain the High Court order was also discussed at length. After the meeting, the members inspected the premises and left. The administrative however sat for another meeting in the evening after the court-appointed committee left.

Even though in comparison to other years, people visiting the mela is less this time, maintaining the crowd amid fears of the covid outbreak is difficult. With only one day left for the “Shahi Snan “in GangaSagar, now everything depends on the suggestion of the High Court-appointed monitoring committee. If the committee says that the arrangement is not adequate, the mela can still be called off.

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