SMC to conduct fumigation drive at religious places

Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has geared up its men and machinery to carry out disinfection of religious places in Srinagar, ahead of their reopening on August 16.

Earlier this month, authorities announced re-opening all religious places including shrines, Masjids, churches and temples in J&K from August 16.

Major shrines and Masjids fall within the domain of the SMC which is responsible for carrying out sanitation in Srinagar.

“In view of re-opening, we have geared all men and machinery for disinfection process of religious places,” said SMC Commissioner Gazanfar Ali.

The SMC Commissioner said all measures were being taken under protocol in view of re-opening of the religious places.

Major shrines and Masjids are located in Srinagar city which were being thronged by the devotees in large numbers prior to COVID19 lockdown.

Some of the major religious places in Srinagar include Dargah Hazratbal, Jamia Masjid Nowhatta, Dastigeer Sahib shrine, Makdoom Sahib shrine, Khanqah-e-Molla and others.

Gurudwara Chatipadshahi at Rainawari, Roman Catholic Church and Family Catholic Church are also located in the summer capital.

The SMC Secretary, who is also a nodal officer for anti-COVID19 operations, said all shrines and Masjids will be disinfected.

“It is not only the structures but premises and adjacent lanes, by-lanes, streets and roads leading to religious places which will be disinfected too,” he said.

He said it would the major disinfection operation. “We have leant that J&K Muslim Wakf Board is all set to re-open religious places. Moreover, the annual Urs of the Char Yaar is being observed at Dargah, Hazratbal and Jinab Sahib Soura on August 18. We are taking all measures under protocol,” Sofi said.

An official said in case of need, the disinfectant tunnels would be installed at major religious places. SMC Chief Sanitation Officer Mudasir Banday said sanitation process at religious places has already been initiated.

“We have set up special teams to carry out sanitation at all religious places falling within the jurisdiction of the Corporation,” he said.

Authorities had announced closure of all Masjids and shrines in J&K in view of the outbreak of COVID19 in March this year. Later, Islamic scholars had appealed people not to hold any congregational prayers in the wake of pandemic.

No congregational prayers were offered in any Masjids in Kashmir for several months. Besides, no prayers were offered on Jamat-ul-Vida, the last Friday of the holy fasting month Ramzan. Also Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha prayers were offered by people at their homes.