The Dhaka University (DU) authorities has announced a roadmap to celebrate Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year, with traditional 'Mangal Shobhajatra' on April 14 after a two- year break.

The flagship procession from Dhaka University's Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA) which was inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2016, was not held in 1427 due to the emergence of the COVID-19 global pandemic, and the FFA organized a symbolic procession on its premises in the following year due to lockdown during the period.

The details regarding this year's celebration were announced in a meeting chaired by DU Vice Chancellor Prof Akhtaruzzaman, held at the Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate building on Sunday.

At the meeting, it was announced that this year's 'Mangal Shobhajatra' will start from the university's Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) premises at 9 am.

The procession will be brought out from the Sarak Deep area of the TSC as the road in front of the FFA has been narrowed due to the ongoing construction work of Metro Rail.

After parading the 'Memory Eternal' monument premises of the university, the Shobhajatra will end at TSC premises on the campus.

The meeting committee also announced that the festivity must be concluded within 5 pm and public entrance would be restricted on the campus area after that.

Evaluating the present context of COVID-19 in the country as well as the month of Holy Ramadan, the authorities requested the citizens to limit the public gatherings in this year's procession.

Alongside requesting everyone to maintain proper hygiene, the authorities announced that festive masks and bags cannot be carried on campus. However, masks made by the Faculty of Fine Arts can be carried.

Furthermore, it was declared that playing and selling of the Vuvuzela flute at this year's event will be strictly prohibited.

On the day of Pahela Baishakh, movement of the procession-goers and others via the gate of Suhrawardy Udyan behind the Raju sculpture will be restricted. However, the FFA entrance in front of the Suhrawardy Udyan, the adjoining gate of the Engineering Institute and the entrance of Suhrawardy Udyan in front of the Bangla Academy will remain open for the citizens.

Vehicles without DU authorized stickers will not be allowed on campus after 7 pm on April 13, as well as on the day of the Pahela Baishakh.

Residents on the campus area can use the road to Nilkhet and Palashi intersection for their transportation using their own vehicles.

The committee requested police to install CCTV cameras and archways on the campus to ensure the security inside the campus area during the festivities.

Mobile public toilets will be set up in the area adjacent to Haji Muhammad Muhsin Hall, the area adjacent to TSC (Student-Teacher Center) the area around Doyel Chattar and Curzon Hall, the committee said at the meeting.

Now cemented as one of the most vivid and significant additions to the Bengali New Year celebration in the country, the DU Faculty of Fine Arts have been celebrating the traditional 'Mangal Shobhajatra' since 1989.

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