Bhubaneswar: A month before the annual Rath Yatra, on July 12, the government of Odisha announced on Thursday that devotees will also be banned from participating in the festival this year, which is held only in Puri amid strict adherence to COVID-19 protocol.
PK Jena, Special Enlightenment Commissioner (SRC), said that all guidelines of the Supreme Court, issued last year, should be followed in letter and spirit while adhering to the rituals at the event.
‘Also this year Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra is being held as devotees in Puri. “The government has banned similar celebrations in other parts of the state,” Jena said.
Only selected COVIDNegative and fully vaccinated servers will be allowed to participate in ‘Snan Purnima’ – bath ritual – and other programs, the SRC said.
‘The evening bell will be rung on the holy city on the day of Rath Yatra. “All restrictions imposed during last year’s event remain in force,” Jena explained.
The official noted that dedicated people would be able to watch the programs live on television and webcasts, and the official further said that the nine-day motor festival will start on schedule, and that “about 500 servers will be able to pull the tanks during the period”.
District Collector Samarth Verma said Puri still registers about 300 COVID-19 matters every day.
‘Only essential services and emergency services are allowed during the festival. Vehicle movement to and from Puri will be restricted, ”he said, adding that the work of building the wagons had reached its final stage and that steps had been taken to ensure that an obstacle did not fall in the way.
Source: Telangana Today