Puri Ratha Jatra to be held like last year amid COVID pandemic

Puri: Like last year, the world famous Ratha Jatra of Lord Jagannath will be held in Puri sans devotees in adherence to all COVID-19 safety norms.

However, the annual festival has been cancelled in all other parts of the state. Rituals relating to Ratha Jatra may be performed in temple premises.

Informing this, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena today said the car festival will be held in accordance to the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court. Servitors having final COVID-19 vaccination certificate or found negative in RT-PCR test done withing 48 hours before the festival will be permitted to participate in the festival.

“Pulling of chariots maybe performed by Sevayats, police personnel and any other officials permitted by the SJTA.  There shall be sufficient intervals between pulling of two chariots. Each Ratha shall not be pulled by more than 500 persons and social distancing be maintained  as far as practicable by the persons,” said the OSRC.

The official further informed that curfew will be imposed in Puri town by the district administration during Ratha Jatra to restrict entry of outsiders. However, essential services including ambulance, medical shops and water supply will be allowed. Persons requiring emergency travel to and from Puri will also be permitted by the local administration.

Trains, buses and other private vehicles will also be not allowed to enter Puri Town during the period.

The I & PR Department will make arrangements for live telecast of important events like Snana Jatra, Gundicha Jatra, Bahuda, Suna Besha and Niladri Bije and share the common feed to media, he added.

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