Bhubaneswar: In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions have been imposed in the pilgrim town of Puri for the smooth conduct of ‘Bahuda Yatra’ to be held on Tuesday.
A prohibitory order under Section 144 will be in force in Puri for the return journey of Lord Jagannath and his siblings. The order will be in force from 8 p.m. on Monday to ensure that no devotees are on the Grand Road at the time of the Bahuda Yatra. It will continue till 8 p.m. on July 21, officials said.
Accordingly, all hotels, lodgings, dharamshalas and guest houses on Grand Road have been closed. No vehicle movement will be allowed in the entire Grand Road other than the authorised vehicles carrying essential services/medical services during the period.
No person will be allowed to see the festival from the rooftops or balconies of buildings, hotels, dharamshalas, lodges and guest houses located along the Grand Road (Bada Danda), the officials said.
All shops and commercial establishments will not be allowed to open during the 48 hours. All entry points of the district have been sealed in order to restrict the movement of people from other districts to Puri district during the period.
The chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Krishan Kumar, held a review meeting on Monday and said the Bahuda Yatra will be conducted without the participation of devotees and following all Covid-19 regulations like the Rath Yatra.
Necessary arrangements have been made for live telecast of the rituals through DD channel and common feed will be provided so that all media houses can telecast the ‘Bahuda’ and ‘Sunabesha’ rituals, he said.
Covid-19 testing and vaccination of all Sevayats and officials is being conducted and will be completed by Monday evening, he said.
As there the temperature is likely to be on the higher side during the daytime on Tuesday, more heatwave beds and ORS powders will be kept in readiness while water will be sprayed by the fire service and PHEO officials, Kumar said.
“We have appealed to all the stakeholders to ensure that no outsider can participate in the Bahuda Yatra and all of them have promised for the same,” Kumar further stated.
He sought cooperation from all for the smooth conduct of the rituals within the prescribed time.
Speaking on repair work going on inside the Srimandir, Kumar said the work is a process for silver-cladding of eight doors. These include the Jay Bijaya Dwar, Kalaahat Dwar, Beheran Dwar, Satapahach Dwar, West Bhog Mandap Dwar, Adi Narasingh Temple Dwar, Bimala Temple Dwar and Mahalaxmi Temple Dwar.
Since the Jay Bijay Dwar, Kalahata Dwar and Beherana Dwar are located in the sanctum sanctorum, the silver plating of these doors can only be done during the Rath Yatra period. Work on the other five doors can be carried out on regular days, he said.
Meanwhile, an ASI team has completed laser scanning of various parts of the temple and will now go for scientific data analysis.