HC nod to Gangasagar Mela; RT-PCR test report taken 72 hrs before visit a must for pilgrims
KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court on Tuesday instructed that all those visiting the Gangasagar Mela should be doubly vaccinated and test negative in an RT-PCR test, conducted 72 hours before reaching the venue. It has also asked for strict regulation of crowds to maintain physical distancing.
The court on the day dropped the Leader of Opposition, BJP's Suvendu Adhikari from a three-member committee formed on January 7 to monitor compliance of Covid restrictions at the mega fair in Sagar Island, and reconstituted the panel.
Earlier, a three-member committee, comprising Leader of Opposition, in the state or his representative, Chairman, West Bengal Human Rights Commission or his representative and representative of the state was constituted to keep vigil in respect of compliance of the directions and measures suggested by the state in the affidavit dated January 6, 2022.
A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Kesong Doma Bhutia, instead reconstituted it to a two-member committee comprising former Justice Samapti Chatterjee and the member secretary of the West Bengal Legal Services Authority.
The competent authority of the state is directed to issue a notification in terms of Section 3 of Gangasagar Mela Act, 1976, declaring the whole of the area within the Sagar Islands as a notified area within 24 hours.
Declaration of the Island as a notified area will empower the state to take measures for safeguarding the health and welfare of the pilgrims as it deems necessary.
The Chief Secretary will be personally liable to ensure the compliance of the directions contained in the order of the Calcutta High Court dated January 7, 2022, passed in WPA(P) 1 of 2022.