Puri: Amidst uncertainties over the holding of Ratha Jatra in Puri due to the COVID-19 pandemic, servitors are in action mode carrying out the construction work of chariots while maintaining social distancing.
The construction work began yesterday after the Centre gave a green signal for the same with specific conditions the day before.
As per the Centre’s direction, the construction is underway inside Ratha Khala, in front of the Jagannath temple office and Sri Nahar palace, segregated with barricades and tents. And, an area of 200 ft has been restricted for the purpose. Roads connecting Dolabedi Kona Sahi and Dola Mandap Sahi have also been blocked. Similarly, no religious congregation will be held near the Ratha Khala.
Wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing, Maharana Sevaks, Bhoi Sevaks, Rupakar Sevaks and Kamar Sevaks are carrying out the construction work in full swing. Sweating out for hours, the servitors are determined to complete the construction on time.
While earlier it was decided that health checkup and COVID-19 test of servitors engaged in the work will be conducted, today the Government announced that family members of the servitors will also undergo the test.
As per the blueprint prepared by Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Maharana Sevaks have been accommodated at two Bhakta Niwas and are being provided with food there. From there, they will be taken to Ratha Khala in a bus everyday.
However, it is pertinent to mention here that, the Centre has made it clear that the decision of holding of the annual car festival will be taken by the state Government keeping in mind the prevailing COVID-19 situation.