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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The preparations for this year's Rath Yatra in Puri hit a surprising roadblock on Wednesday with lack of adequate space on the Bada Danda affecting the delivery of second batch of timber for chariot construction which reached the pilgrim town today.

As per reports, as many as 18 pieces of ‘Dhaura’ wood logs, carried by a truck from Nayagarh, reached Puri on Wednesday morning.

However, the tranche of wood logs couldn’t be unpacked from the vehicle on the Grand Road due to barricades erected for smooth darshan of the devotees in front of the Jagannath Temple. 

Apart from the barricades, presence of several shops near the location has also primarily eaten up a significant portion of the road in front of the 12th century shrine leading to space unavailability. 

“The first set of barricades has been erected in front of Srikrushna Cinema and the second one has been lined up on Papudia Mutt-Marichkot Chhak stretch. Many shops have come up near the barricades. There is little space for the chariot woods to be unloaded,” explained senior servitor Sudarshan Mekap.

Mekap also said that as devotees are not allowed to enter the temple from all the doors except Singha Dwara and it is leading to a huge rush during exit and entry of people which is another reason behind the space crunch.

Bhoi sebayat Rabi Bhoi demanded that steps should be taken immediately to shift the shops near the barricades so that the chariot wood can be unloaded in a hassle-free manner.

“Hopefully, the district administration will take immediate steps to shift the shops near the barricades till today evening and the second phase of chariot wood for RathYatra will be unloaded from the truck,” said Bhoi. 

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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