A Hindu devotee takes a holy dip to mark the Kartik Purnima festival on November 12, 2019. 
(File Photo)
A Hindu devotee takes a holy dip to mark the Kartik Purnima festival on November 12, 2019. (File Photo)
Photo by SANJAY KANOJIA / AFP

Makar Sankranti was celebrated in a subdued manner in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, as fewer people thronged the holy rivers for a dip on the occasion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an official said.

According to authorities, although people took a holy dip in rivers Narmada and Kshipra, their numbers were comparatively lesser than the previous years.

"People usually start arriving on river banks after midnight. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number were less this year," Ujjain's additional district magistrate Narendra Suryawanshi said.

Around 5,000 to 7,000 people arrived for a holy dip at Ramghat and other places in the district till 11 am, which is nearly 20 to 25 per cent less than the previous year, the official said.

To ensure availability of clean water, water from Narmada river has been released into Kshipra, the official said, adding that all arrangements were made for safety and security of people.

Similar scenes were witnessed in Hoshangabad and Jabalpur districts, as fewer people came out to the rivers for a holy bath on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan wished people of the state on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Vishu and Bhogali Bihu and prayed for their happiness and prosperity.

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