A month forward of the annual Rath Yatra, on July 12, the Odisha authorities on Thursday introduced that this 12 months, too, devotees can be barred from taking part within the pageant, which is able to solely be held in Puri amid strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Particular Reduction Commissioner (SRC) P Ok Jena mentioned that each one tips of the Supreme Courtroom, issued final 12 months, should be adopted in letter and spirit whereas observing the
rituals on the event.
“This 12 months additionally, Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra can be held sans devotees in Puri. The administration has prohibited comparable celebrations in different components of the state,” Jena mentioned.
Solely chosen COVID-negative and absolutely vaccinated servitors can be allowed to participate in ‘Snan Purnima’ – bathing ritual – and different programmes, the SRC mentioned.
“Curfew can be clamped on the holy city on the day of Rath Yatra. All restrictions imposed throughout final 12 months’s occasion will stay in drive,” Jena defined.
Noting that devotees will have the ability to witness the programmes reside on tv and webcasts, the official additional mentioned that the nine-day lengthy automotive pageant will begin
as per schedule, and “nearly 500 servitors can be allowed to tug the chariots in the course of the interval”.
District collector Samarth Verma, on his half, mentioned Puri nonetheless registers round 300 COVID-19 instances day-after-day.
“Solely important and emergency providers can be allowed in the course of the pageant. Vehicular motion to and from Puri can be restricted,” he said, including that work to construct the chariots has reached its remaining phases and steps have been taken to “guarantee no hurdle got here in its method”.