The second wave of Covid-19 has dampened the spirit of Raja festival in Odisha. With the three-day festival starting on Monday, people have no scope to enjoy the festival outdoors as mostly they will be confined inside their houses due to Covid-19 induced lockdown.
However, to help the denizens of Bhubaneswar relish delicious 'Odia pithas' on the occasion of the famous festival, the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has launched 'Pitha on Wheels' on Sunday.
"Every year during Raja festival, OTDC makes special arrangements with all varieties of 'pithas' and swings. However, this year it will be a bit different. OTDC has made all the arrangements for the people to celebrate Raja amid Covid-19 guidelines," said OTDC Chairperson Shreemayee Mishra.
"Different types of Odia pithas like poda pitha, manda, kakara, arisha, chakuli and chandrakala would be available near Master Canteen, Khandagiri, CRP, Patia, Chandrasekharpur and Rupali squares between 7am to 11pm on June 14-16," said Mishra.
'Pitha on Wheels' will also be available in Sambalpur. Besides, the Odia delicacies will be provided to the people of Cuttack and Rourkela in special counters.
“Special counters have been opened at Pantha Nivas of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Sambalpur, and Rourkela to sell pithas. People can purchase pithas from these counters following all the guidelines of Covid-19.” said OTDC MD Sachin R Jadhav.
Plans are afoot to celebrate Raja in a low key affair at Pantha Nivas in Bhubaneswar.
According to sources, the famous festival will only be celebrated in a symbolical manner keeping in view of the Covid-19 second wave. The premises of Pantha Nivas has been decorated for the occasion. However, nobody from outside will be allowed inside Pantha Nivas.
(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)