Bhubaneswar: Amidst the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath with his siblings will be held sans devotees in Puri like last year.
Except in Puri, the Rath Yatra has been banned in all other places in the state. Only rituals will be conducted within the premises of the temples.
Informing this, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena on Thursday said, “The festival will be held without devotees in Puri, only servitors will be allowed.”
During the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, the Supreme Court allowed the conduct of Rath Yatra in Puri with certain guidelines. “The Supreme Court’s guidelines issued last year for conducting the annual festival of Lord Jagannath will be followed. The restrictions imposed during last year’s Rath Yatra will remain in force this year as well. Only fully vaccinated servitors and servitors with Covid negative report will be allowed to participate,” he said.
As per Supreme Court guidelines only 500 servitors will be allowed to pull each chariot during the festival.
Curfew will be imposed in Puri during the festival to restrict people in the grand road. Only essential and emergency services will be allowed.