Govt Directs Srimandir & Other Temples To Prepare Plan Of Action For Reopening

Bhubaneswar: As much-awaited news for the devotees, the State Government directed administrations of Puri Srimandir and other major temples under Endowment to prepare a plan of action for reopening.

Chief Secretary to the State, Asit Tripathy shared the update via his official Twitter handle. His tweet said that the reopening must, however, abide by the existing Covid regulations.

He also directed the respective Collectors to submit reports after consultation with all stakeholders in the next ten days.

All religious places, including temples, have been closed in the State for since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the Centre giving a green signal for reopening, the Odisha Government refrained owing to the grim corona situation.

Notably, yesterday the Orissa High Court asked the State government to reopen the temples in a graded manner in accordance with the modalities after assessing the COVID-19 situation.

The order of the court came while disposing of two writ petitions that sought a direction to extend financial relief to priests of registered temples for the lockdown period. The petitions were filed by a priest of Dadhibaman Dev temple of Nayagarh district and an organisation of priests of the same district.

The order came in even as protests by priests and devotee associations intensified urging the State Government to reopen the temples. They have maintained that thousands of priests and servitors solely depend on temples for their earning but due to closure of temples have put their livelihoods at stake.

The state government had extended the closure of places of religious till October 31.