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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Following widespread protests and long-standing demand from all quarters, the Odisha government on Tuesday decided to allow public and journalists to enter State Secretariat (Loka Seva Bhawan) from April 18.

Notifying the decision, PC Pradhan, Special Secretary, wrote, “Only the accredited journalists will be allowed to enter into the Secretariat from April 18, 2022.”

In addition to the journalists, the general public will also be allowed to put forward their grievances and perform other official work. The government has decided to throw open the reception counters of the Loka Seva Bhawan, Kharavela Bhawan and Rajiv Bhawan for the same.

“Keeping in view of the recent pandemic situation and relaxation of COVID related restrictions, the Government is pleased to inform that the reception counter at the Loka Seva Bhawan, Kharavel Bhawan and Rajiv Bhawan will be made fully functional from April 18, 2022 for allowing general public for their grievances and other official work in the Secretariat,” read the government notice.

The public/others will have to apply for passes online through http://epravesh.odisha.gov.in/ or through mobile app (ePravesh).

At present, press briefings and press conferences, which used to be held at the Loka Seva Bhawan, are being carried out in virtual mode, depriving the journalists of asking questions.

It is pertinent to mention here that, following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Odisha government kept the Loka Seva Bhawan out of bounds for public and scribes.

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