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No Shravani Mela this year in Deoghar due to corona spread

Ranchi, July 3 (IANS) There will be no 'Shravani' Mela this year at the famous Shiva temple of Deoghar district, the Jharkhand government has decided.Fearing the spread of coronavirus infection, the state government has expressed its inability to organise the world famous Shravani Mela at Deoghar, which is one of the 12 'Jyotirlings' of Lord Shiva.Chief Minister Hemant Soren said that there is a long battle ahead against coronavirus and during the auspicious month of Shravan lakhs of devotees from all parts of the country come to Deoghar and Basukinath. He said the government was concerned about the well being of the people of Jharkhand, therefore it did not want to take a risk which might lead to rapid spread of the infection. The Chief Minister said that the coronavirus could not be taken lightly. He stressed the need to have a serious approach to deal with the pandemic, and therefore the state government has decided not to organise the Shravani Mela this year. He said that in the time of adversity one needed to work against the social system and traditions.The religious places will remain closed in Jharkhand till July 31. As per Unlock 2 devotes are not allowed to visit the temple and as per the protocol only priests are performing the rituals. During Unlock 2, the district administrations of Deoghar and Dumka have been asked to use the opportunity to undertake necessary repairs in the temple and work to increase the amenities for the people.The Chief Minister has also asked the district administration to undertake colouring and painting of the temple premises so that it gets a grander look while the area should also be made completely hygienic.Every year during the Shravani month more than 30 lakh people offer water on Shiva Linga. Long queues are witnessed every day outside the Shiva temple. And on Mondays, the queue gets more than 15 km long. This is for the first time that devotees shall not be able offer water on the Shiva Linga.
--IANS ns/dpb
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