Katra (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], April 12 (ANI): Preparations for Navratras are in full swing in Katra keeping in mind the COVID-19 norms as infections in many parts of Jammu and Kashmir have been on the rise in the past few days.
Every year thousands of pilgrims from all over the country visit Mata Vaishno Devi in Navratras, however this year due to the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, special arrangements have been made.
Thermal scanners and hand sanitising dispensers have been put in many places.
A sanitisation drive is going on and pilgrims are being tested for COVID-19 on their arrival at the Katra railway station.
Security has been tightened and the police are doing rounds to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.
Kuljeet Singh Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Katra said, "In wake of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the administration had issued SOPs and for its implementation, we are continuously running awareness campaign through announcements from vehicles, through staff deployed at nakas, civil administration and shrine board employees."
"It is very rare to see a person without masks. A sanitisation drive is going on and special deployments have been done to heighten security," he further said.
Rakesh Kumar, a devotee from Jharkhand said, "During these COVID-19 times, we have come to get a darshan of Mataji. We are following social distancing guidelines. She is our refuge, we are happy and prosperous due to her blessings, which is why we as a family came to get the darshan."
He also said that all the pilgrims are following COVID-19 protocols
Umesh Gupta, a Delhi resident said," Last year I could not get the darshan because of the COVID-19 crisis. Every year I try to get her darshan."
Neelam Joshi from Indore said, " We want only one wish granted, let our country be free of COVID-19. The preparations are good, and a systematic security arrangement is in place here."
The nine-day auspicious festival of Navratri, celebrated in honour of the many forms of Goddess Durga, is one of the most vibrant festivals celebrated in different ways in different parts of the country. (ANI)