Vikash Sharma

The mercury is on an upward trend, adversely affecting normal life in Odisha owing to severe hot and humid conditions prevailing for over one week now. Despite the gruelling weather conditions, devotees are thronging in large numbers to have the darshan of Lord Jagannath at Puri Srimandir.

Though devotion seems to be winning against the adversaries on the ground, scores of devotees are also bearing the brunt of scorching heatwave conditions by waiting for hours, standing in queues under the sun. The elderly devotees, women and children are the worst sufferers.

o reach the shed, devotees have to experience the heat of the ground as they have to walk barefoot upto the shed. The entire period up to the shed is like testing the patience of the devotees. Resentment is now brewing among the devotees as they allege that no adequate provisions have been made by the administration in view of the heat wave conditions.

Though the fire services department personnel are sprinkling water on the roads and devotees, demand for some special measures for elderly and Divyang devotees is gaining ground. The devotees exiting from northern gate are suffering a lot.

Water Being SprinkledWater Being Sprinkled

“There is a board for facilities for senior citizens, but we have to walk to get darshan. However, we have come for a darshan and whatever is there we are satisfied as other things are secondary,” said Ashutosh Tripathy, a devotee from Jamshedpur.

“There is a need to spray water on devotees from all sides as there is a rise in the maximum temperature in Odisha. It is certainly creating problems for the senior citizens and other devotees. We have to carry children and there is a need to spray water more on the ground to reduce the heat emanating from the concrete floor,” said a devotee.

Puri SP Pinak Mishra also admitted the inconvenience to the devotees. “There is a slight inconvenience to all due to the heat wave conditions, especially during the peak hours from 11 am to 3 pm. The temple administration is sprinkling water inside, and outside carpeting has been done. White paint has been used to reduce the heat.”

According to Mishra, a lot of measures have been undertaken by the temple administration so that the devotees would not have to face inconvenience.

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