Mumbai After the first case of Omicron variant was confirmed in Maharashtra, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has asked citizens not to visit Chaitya Bhoomi in Dadar on the death anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar on December 6.
Instead, the BMC said that citizens should use the online facility that is being made available by the civic body. However, those who visit physically, will be allowed at the holy site only if they are fully vaccinated.
The civic body has decided to provide visuals of the memorial on its social media handles to avoid crowding at the memorial. As per the BMC’s estimates, nearly 10 lakh people from different parts of the country visit Chaitya Bhoomi every year on December 6. Nearly 500 stalls are set up to sell books, lamps, calendars, decorations, posters, T-shirts, watches and many other such items. However, this year no such permission is given.
Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner of the BMC said, “We are technically only allowing the fully vaccinated. We have appealed to the citizens to not gather at Chaitya Bhoomi and opt for the online event.”
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednkar appealed that citizens should cooperate with the BMC officials in order to follow Covid-19 appropriate norms. On the other hand, Prakash Ambedkar, prominent Dalit leader and great-grandson of Dr Ambedkar, appealed to the followers of the Dalit icon not to visit the memorial on December 6 to avoid crowding. He urged them to stay at home instead of travelling all the way to Dadar, at a time when following Covid-appropriate behaviour is the necessity.
Civic officials said that people can visit Chaitya Bhoomi virtually on the civic body’s social media handles.
Every year on December 6, thousands of followers of Dr Ambedkar, as well as political workers, visit Chaitya Bhoomi, a memorial built at Dadar beach where Dr Ambedkar was cremated after he died in 1956.
Meanwhile, the BMC in a statement on Friday said that they have ordered the closure of the Global Vipassana Pagoda at Gorai between December 5 and 7, owing to the pandemic. The pagoda is a meditation centre and a monument built as a tribute to Lord Gautama Buddha. The pagoda was shut in December 2020 also due to similar reasons.
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