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Jagannath Yatra Chariot Construction Begins In Puri; Organisers Ensure Covid Distancing

Construction of chariots for the Rath Yatra has begun in Puri, Odisha, even though the country is completing its seventh week of lockdown due to coronavirus.

Odisha

Construction of chariots for the annual Rath Yatra has begun in Puri, Odisha, even as the country completes its seventh week of lockdown due to coronavirus. The yatra is scheduled for June 23. 

READ: Chariot Construction For Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra To Start Soon: Temple Committee

Chariot construction begins

Speaking to ANI, Ajay Jena, Administrator Development Officer, Jagannath Temple Administration, said, "A total of 72 workers are constructing the chariot. The Centre has given approval for construction, with conditions. In order to prevent mingling of 'rath sevaks' with their families, the temple administration has decided to keep them in three 'bhakt nivas' of the temple."

Earlier, the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee said that the construction of chariots for the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath as it is "not a religious function" but an activity associated with construction, which is permitted by the government during lockdown.

READ: Patnaik Speaks To PM Over Organising 'Rath Yatra' In Puri This Year

Earlier in April, PTI reported that Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had held discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday over organising Lord Jagannath's "Rath Yatra" in Puri this year. 

The 12th-century shrine in Puri has remained closed for devotees since March 22, though the temple rituals are being followed by the priests as usual. Earlier, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in the state had suspended the "Rukuna Rath Yatra", the annual festival of Lord Lingaraj, this year due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown.

READ: Health Ministry To Deploy Teams To 10 Covid Hit States Witnessing High Case-load

Meanwhile, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) had started discussions with Govardhan Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati and Gajapati Maharaja Dibya Singha Deb.

READ: Delhi Police Honour Sanitation Workers; Facilitate Contribution In Fight Against COVID-19

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