Srinagar: Asserting that people can seek permission for marriage functions online and there was no need to come to his office, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Mohammad Aijaz Asad said that people should adhere to COVID protocols, including ceiling of 25 guests and maintaining social distancing, to curtail the spread of the virus during the event.
Meanwhile, Kashmir’s feisty wedding season is yet again lackluster due to COVID-19 crises for the third successive year, badly affecting the people associating with this industry. Besides the postponement of marriages, the pandemic has forced many people to go for innovations which they consider as ‘safeguards’ against the disease, including Wazas (traditional Kashmiri cooks) serving famous ‘Wazwan’ wearing PPE kits.
Mr Asad said marriages are made in heaven and not in Deputy Commissioner’s offices. ”No visit for permission required at all. To adhere to the Covid protocol, please apply online here: https:erviceonline.gov.in/jammu/,” the DC Srinagar wrote on micro-blogging site twitter.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday extended the ‘COVID curfew’ by another week till May 24 in all 20 districts in the Union Territory though essential services were exempted from the lockdown. This was the fourth successive extension of COVID curfew in the valley since April 29. The extension in lockdown has come in the backdrop of unabated rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in J&K, particularly the summer capital, Srinagar, which has recorded the major chunk of positive cases during the last over a month.
In an order issued by the Deputy Commissioner, the ceiling on gatherings permissible for marriage functions is 25 persons only with prior permission from District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMA) Srinagar.
The industry was badly hit in 2019 when thousands of marriage functions were cancelled due to unrest post abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 A, besides bifurcation of J&K into two union territories. Thousands of marriage functions were cancelled or ‘Nikahs’ were held in a low-key manner in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic in the valley, which is again staring at similar situation this year. Lakhs of people associated with this industry have suffered losses during this time to the tune of crores of rupees.