The Puri district administration on Saturday revised its decision and imposed restrictions on public viewing of the upcoming Rath Yatra festival from roof top of houses. Puri Collector, Samarth Verma said that curfew will be clamped in the entire Puri town a day before Rath Yatra on July 12 and the restrictions will remain effective till the next day (afternoon).
It is pertinent to mention here that the Rath Yatra in Puri would be organised without the participation of devotees and in strict adherence to Covid safety protocols to contain the spread of the virus. This is for the second year in a row that the grand festival will be organised sans participation of devotees.
“As curfew will be imposed one night before Rath Yatra and remain effective till the next day afternoon, nobody will be allowed to remain on terrace (roof tops) as it comes under the curfew restrictions,” said Verma.
“One or two days ahead of Rath Yatra, we will inspect hotels and vacate the rooms. The residents in the locality will not be allowed to come to terrace during the festival,” he added.
The Puri Collector said a survey will be conducted and all hotels, lodges on Bada Danda (Grand Road) will be emptied. Strict instructions will be issued to such institutions not to accept bookings from any visitors from July 10, 11, 12 and 13. The survey process to identify unsafe buildings is underway and the structures will be vacated. In the other hotels and lodges,
Puri SP K Vishal Singh said, no one would be allowed to go to the rooftops to witness the Rath Yatra proceedings.
“As per the decision of the administration, rooftop gatherings will not be allowed as the activities are part of Section 144. Secondly, we have surveyed and prepared a list of 41 hotels and lodges. They have been asked not to take bookings from two days prior to Rath Yatra. I request all to cooperate with the administration and obey the orders,” Singh said.