Mysore/Mysuru: The COVID-19 State Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has restricted the crowd to 200 atop Chamundi Hill for inauguration of Dasara-2020 and 300 for Jumboo Savari procession in Palace premises but it does not seem to have any bearing on the devotees visiting the Hill temple on normal days as they were found moving freely without any safety measure.
COVID-19 guidelines were ignored at Chamundi Hill on Friday as hundreds of devotees were seen without face masks, wearing face masks incorrectly and not maintaining social distance. There was no sign of social distancing as visitors stood in groups around the Temple premises forgetting the fact that Mysuru has been reporting highest number of Corona positive cases and casualties in the State only after Bengaluru city.
The parking lot atop the Hill was filled with tourist vehicles. Hundreds of tourists were seen gathered in front of the main entrance of Temple with their face masks below their nose. The mandatory distance between two persons was not maintained as the people stood close to each other jostling for a place in the serpentine queue to have the darshan of Goddess Chamundeshwari.
“Even I was surprised to see hundreds of people in and around the temple on Friday. We were busy with three-member Technical Team that visited the Hill to oversee the arrangements for inauguration of Dasara festival on Oct. 17. Even the cops were with the Team. At that time, people had gathered in large numbers not only in front of the temple but also in surrounding areas. This happened between 12 noon and 1 pm. After the team members left, the Police disciplined visitors by making them to wear face masks properly and to maintain safe distance,” Yathiraj Sampathkumaran, Executive Officer, Chamundi Temple, told Star of Mysore.
He also said they have taken all precautions at the temple and no one is allowed inside without a face mask. Sanitiser is also kept at the main entrance and every devotee is made to wash their hands with it. The Executive Officer added that while visitors wore mask they seldom practice social distancing and this is the major problem the Temple Authorities are facing.
He then requested the people to co-operate with the authorities by following COVID rules and said that he has requested his higher-up to take urgent steps to implement COVID rules as thousands of tourists are expected to visit Chamundi Hill during the ten-day Dasara festival.
It is learnt, the Hill temple witnessed a rush on Friday as the temple is closed for devotees on weekends in the wake of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Muzrai Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary, who was in city on Saturday, said devotees are allowed inside the temples as per COVID-19 guidelines.