Vikash Sharma

The Puri Jagannath temple is all set to reopen for devotees from tomorrow (Monday) and all the preparations have reached final stages, said district Collector Samarth Verma on Sunday.

As per the announcement, the residents of Puri town will get a chance to have darshan of Lord Jagannath and his sibling deities at the 12th-century shrine.

The residents of Puri Municipality area will be allowed entry for darshan from August 16 to August 20. Thereafter, all devotees will be permitted for darshan of the Holy Trinity from August 23, 2021.

“We have distributed tokens to households mentioning necessary time slots. Eight kiosks have been set up at entry points with hand sanitisers, facilities for inspection of identity and entry proof for devotees. Barricading has been done to streamline darshan with separate queues for elderly and divyang residents,” said Verma.

The Shree Jagannath Temple was closed and the entry of general public barred in view of threat of the spread of COVID-19 since April 24, 2021.

As per the SOP which was released recently by the administration, the Jagannath temple will remain closed for public darshan on all weekends i.e. Saturdays & Sundays as a measure to contain the spread of Coronavirus disease and for proper sanitization of the temple premises.

Click here for the detailed SOP

Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh said, “A three-tier security arrangement has been made and eight platoons of police force will be deployed in the first phase. Our main objective is to ensure that there is no violation of Covid-19 protocols.”

According to Singh, adequate forces will be deployed after reviewing the turnout of devotees. The preliminary arrangement and other aspects will help us to review things ahead of the turnout of more devotees from August 23, 2021.

“Next four to five days will be crucial for us. We will review and streamline things for hassle free darshan, complaisance of Covid protocols and security as well,” Singh added.