Revised Guidelines Issued for Puri’s Jagannath Temple
The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has issued a revised standard operating procedure (SOP) for Puri’s Srimandir which states that the temple will remain shut on weekends. The new guidelines come into effect from April 24.
The guidelines state that the Jagannath Temple will remain open on all days except Saturdays and Sundays.
The decision was made at a virtual meeting of the Chhatisa Nijog in presence of SJTA Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar, District Collector Samarth Verma, SP Kanwar Vishal Singh and representatives of servitors.
“The temple will be closed for two days – on Saturdays and Sundays, which will come into effect from next Saturday. Besides, no one will be allowed inside the shrine without a mask and fines will be collected from violators,” said Gourahari Pradhan, a Sevayat of Srimandir. “To avoid gathering inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, devotees will be allowed darshan from Bahar Katha, he added.
The committee also held discussions about arranging kiosks on the premises for Covid tests, production of Covid-19 negative certificates among other topics.
“Devotees from outside Odisha will have to mandatorily produce RT-PCR negative report or final vaccination certificate (after two doses of vaccination) for entry into the shrine. However, restrictions on people from Puri have not been taken yet,” said Pradhan.
A few of the servitors who visited the Kumbh Mela are expected to undergo Covid-19 tests upon return.
“The servitors who have visited Kumbh Mela in Haridwar will have to undergo Covid-19 test. A seven-member committee will be formed to ensure people adhere to Covid appropriate behavior inside the temple premises,” said Pradhan.
“Decision regarding the closure of temple will be taken, if a situation arises,” the servitor added.