DK orders weekend closure of three popular temples


The can remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays sans any seva, utsava and annadana

Dakshina Kannada district administration has barred entry of devotees on Saturdays and Sundays to temples in Kukke Subrahmanya, Dharmasthala and Kateel till August 15 to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the district.

On Saturdays and Sundays, temple authorities are allowed to conduct routine rituals with the help of priests, but entry of devotees is barred.

The administration also barred all kinds of sevas, utsavas, distribution of tirtha and prasada as well as annadaana at these temples. The temples would remain open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays. Devotees can only have darshan of the deities, according to an order issued by Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra under Section 144 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Section 34 of the Disaster Management Act.

Hotels and lodges in these places are prohibited from offering accommodation to devotees on weekends. During weekdays, those intending to avail lodging facilities should compulsorily produce an RT-PCR negative certificate not older than 72 hours, Dr. Rajendra said.

Sri Subrahmanya temple at Kukke Subrahmanya, Sri Manjunatha Temple at Dharmasthala and Sri Durgaparameshwari Temple at Kateel attract a huge number of devotees every day from across Karnataka and also other States. The numbers swell in multiples of thousands during weekends. A fortnight ago, the administration had hinted at imposing curbs on arival of devotees.

Dr. Rajendra said despite strictly enforcing COVID-19 appropriate behaviour in the district after the government permitted several activities, the number of positive cases is on the rise. If stringent measures were not taken now, it might be difficult to face the situation when a third wave of the pandemic hits the region.

The district administration has made a COVID-19 negative certificate mandatory for people arriving from Kerala followng a spike in cases in the neighbouring State.

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