Devotees might get to pull Lords’ chariots this Ratha Jatra
Puri: After a gap of two years, devotees from across the world are likely to be allowed to pull chariots during Ratha Jatra– the nine-day sojourn of Lord Jagannath and his divine siblings scheduled to begin on July 1.
If COVID-19 situation remains stable in the state, Ratha Jatra will be held with public participation, informed district Collector Samarth Verma following the first preparatory meeting for the annual extravaganza held here today.
Briefing mediapersons, the Collector said, “We have two tentative plans for conduct of Ratha Jatra this year. People will be allowed to have darshan of the deities during the nine-day festival, if COVID situation remain stable. However, the festival will be held sans devotees like the previous two years, if the infection rises in coming days. All departments concerned put forth their action plans at the meeting held today.”
Meanwhile, servitors have demanded holding of the car festival with religious fervour and devotional frenzy with participation of devotees from across the world.
Since people had not participated in the annual festival for the last two years owing to COVID-19 pandemic, the district administration expect congregation of around 10 lakh devotees this year.
“Officials from all departments to be involved in Ratha Jatra were present in the meeting. Since the festival was held sans devotees in the last two years, we are expecting a gathering of 10 to 14 lakh people this year. In the meeting, discussions were held on elaborate arrangements required to be made to make the event a grand success,” said an official.