Vikash Sharma

The Puri district administration is now racing against time to complete necessary pending works ahead of the Rath Yatra. As lakhs of devotees are expected to attend the annual chariot festival of Lord Jagannath and his siblings in Puri, various aspects including safety and security, and facilities were discussed at the Rath Yatra coordination meeting held on Tuesday.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed all departments to take special measures for the smooth conduct of the festival and draw up plans for devotees in view of the heatwave conditions. Patnaik virtually attended the last Rath Yatra coordination meeting held today.

Chief Administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Ranjan Das said, “We have already started preparations and with Lord’s blessing we will be able to conduct Rath Yatra in a smooth and hassle-free manner. Our focus is on the early completion of rituals and a decision has been taken to inaugurate Parikrama Marg by June 15.”

Transport Minister, Tukuni Sahu said, “Special focus is on ensuring that devotees do not face any problems in coming to Puri for Rath Yatra.”

Law Minister, Jagannath Sarka said, “As devotees from across the world are expected to arrive for Rath Yatra, the state government has asked all departments to complete all works.”

Several servitors and others expressed concern as the meeting ended without any discussion on Parikrama Marg and uninterrupted power supply during Rath Yatra.

“We had hoped for discussion on Parikrama marg and power supply, but nothing was discussed. The things which are being done will create problems ahead,” said senior servitor Ram Chandra Dasmohapatra.

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