Puri/Bhubaneswar: Mobile phones with camera will be banned atop the three chariots during Ratha Jatra this year. A decision in connection with this was taken during a meeting of Chhatisa Nijog today evening.
Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannatha Temple Administration (SJTA), Krishan Kumar, who was present in the nijog meeting, stated sevaks or servitors will not be allowed to carry mobile phones with camera or any other cameras atop the chariots. After observing that some sevaks or servitors took selfie with the deities on the chariots during Ratha Jatra, a unanimous decision was taken in today’s nijog meeting to prohibit mobile phones with camera during the festival starting from July 12.
In another major decision, no officials of the temple administration or district administration and police personnel will be allowed to pull the chariots. Even they will not be allowed to touch the ropes of the chariots, informed Kumar.
The sevaks and servitors will only participate in the chariot pulling, he added.
On the number of sevaks or servitors who will be present atop the chariots, the SJTA Chief Administrator said it will be ensured that there will be a minimal number of them on the chariots. However, the exact number will be decided in two days.
“As devotees will pay obeisance to the Holy Trinity in the TV telecast, no one will be allowed to obstruct the view of the deities,” said Kumar.
Worth mentioning, like last year, the State government decided to allow the SJTA to hold the annual Ratha Jatra without devotees due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Prohibitory order under Sec 144 will be in force on both sides of the Bada Danda (Grand Road) in Puri.
Earlier in the day, the Puri district administration modified its earlier guidelines and ordered residents of houses and buildings alongside the Bada Danda will not be allowed to witness the car festival of Lord Jagannath and siblings from their terrace.