Karnataka Chief Minister To Decide On Relaxing Covid Curbs For Ganesha Festival Celebrations

Citing COVID-19, the government had, earlier, banned celebration of the festival in public and said the people can celebrate in their houses.

Karnataka Chief Minister To Decide On Relaxing Covid Curbs For Ganesha Festival Celebrations

Basavaraj Bommai will speak with senior officials of districts to get information on Covid infection rate

Bengaluru:

The Karnataka Cabinet on Saturday authorised Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to take a decision on relaxing restrictions on Ganesha Festival celebrations across the State.

"The Chief Minister has been authorised to call a meeting (of experts and officials) and take a decision regarding Ganesha festival celebrations," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy said.

Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meet, he said the Chief Minister would be talking to Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and superintendents of police (SPs) of various districts and get information on the COVID-19 infection rate in the districts.

"He (CM) is likely to take a decision either by tomorrow or day-after-tomorrow on the celebration of the festival by following the COVID protocols.... to have a policy for the entire state (for such celebrations) he will seek inputs from experts and district administrations," he added.

Several organisations and political leaders, mostly from the BJP and those with Sangh Parivar background, have been mounting pressure on the State government to ease the curbs on the festival.

Citing COVID-19, the government had, earlier, banned celebration of the festival in public and said the people can celebrate in their houses.

The Minister said expert opinion would be sought on whether to lift the weekend curfew in three or four districts where it is still in force.

Also, the Cabinet decided to amend the Panchayat Raj Delimitation Act. "Under this amendment, it is proposed to have a separate delimitation commission for panchayat raj, with a retired ACS (Additional Chief Secretary) as its chairman," he said.

The Cabinet gave the green signal to sanction Rs 17,72 crore to buy medicines and equipment to prepare for the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noting that Boston Consulting Group was appointed by the government as a consultant to attract investments in the State, the Minister said the Cabinet has decided to make use of the expertise of the group for another year at a remuneration of Rs 12 crore per year.

Among the other decisions of the Cabinet include procurement and distribution of 13,061 toolkits for SC/ST students at ITIs across the State at a cost of Rs 17.18 crore.