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Vikash Sharma

The countdown has begun for the grand Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath and his sibling deities of Puri Srimandir on Monday. The construction work of the gigantic chariots has almost reached final stages.

The administration is not leaving any stone unturned to ensure that the Rath Yatra festival is conducted in a smooth manner. For the second year in a row, the mega event will be held without the participation of devotees in view of the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

As per earlier announcement, the weekend shutdown restrictions were not enforced in Puri town today to allow residents to procure essential commodities ahead of the imposition of curfew along with shutdown from 8 pm on Sunday, informed Puri Collector Samarth Varma.  The prohibitory orders will remain in force till 8 pm on Tuesday (July 13) to deny mass congregation on Bada Danda (Grand Road), roof tops, balcony of buildings adjoining the Grand Road.

All hotels, Dharmasalas, guest houses on the Grand Road will not be allowed to open for tourists, devotees and will vacate boarders, guests by today.

The shops, commercial establishments including medicine shops, banks and all offices except essential government offices located on the Grand Road will remain closed during the above mentioned period.

Senior district administration officials informed that all entry points (8 check points) of the district will be sealed to restrict the movement of people from other parts of the State and elsewhere to Puri during the Rath Yatra festival.

“All rituals are being held as per schedule. The work for the construction of chariots is almost complete. We have relaxed the Saturday shutdown and people can complete shopping of essential items. Section 144 of CrPC will be clamped from 8 pm tomorrow and no shop and essential activity will be allowed on Grand Road. Only those with Duty Passes for Rath Yatra will be allowed,” said Puri Collector, Samarth Varma.

Varma said that there is no problem for residents to seek emergency medical travels during this period. Meanwhile, security has been tightened in Puri ahead of the Rath Yatra festival. The entire city has been divided into 12 zones and a total of 65 platoons of police force will be deployed for the grand event.

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