The famous Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi will open after over five months on Sunday, but there will be no Qawwali evenings at the shrine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the dargah's caretakers said.
Safety measures like use of sanitisers and face covers as well as social distancing will be strictly followed at the dargah of Sufi saint Hazrat Nizmuddin, which was closed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, they said.
"We have also covered the graves of Hazarat Nizamuddin Aulia and Amir Khusro (in the dargah complex) with plastic sheets so that people do not touch them while paying obeisance, as it could lead to people getting infected with the virus," Nazim Nizami, one of the caretakers of the shrine, said.
The entry and exit points of the dargah will be separate, and markings have been made on the floor to ensure social distancing by devotees, he said.
"We will also deploy men at the gates of the dargah to ensure that people enter wearing face covers," Mr Nizami said.
Two big sanitiser dispensers have been installed at the main entrance of the dargah. Small dispensers and sanitiser bottles have been kept in the premises for devotees.
"In view of the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Qawwali evenings which are hugely famous among followers of the sufi saint will not be held for the time being. We will ensure that people do not sit in the courtyard of the dargah as they used to do before, and leave after paying obeisance," Mr Nizami said.
He said that crowd management at the shrine will be further improved after assessing the footfall in the coming days. The dargah located in Hazarat Nizamuddin area of south Delhi was closed with the announcement of COVID-19-induced lockdown in March.
Under the ''Unlock'' process, religious places in Delhi started opening after June 8, but the dargah remained closed due to increase in COVID-19 cases, caretakers of the shrine said.
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