Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Puri: In a bid to reopen the Srimandir for the devotees, the Jagannath temple administration will now reconvene its discussions in a phased manner from Friday.

According to sources, there will be discussions about the proposal of the reopening of the temple in the meeting of the temple administration and the managing committee.

The administration will deliberate on the opinions of the senior servitors in the meeting in a phased manner. The first phase of the discussion starts from today and subsequently the second phase will continue from October 12-16.

However, keeping Covid-19 norms in view, the meetings will be held via video conferencing.

Some of the senior servitors are of the opinion that the 12th century shrine should open after the holy month of Kartika (November).

“The holy month of Kartika is approaching when the famous Nagarjuna Besa (attire) of the lords is scheduled. A huge number of devotees are expected to throng the shrine to witness the rare attire of the Holy Trinity and our attempts to prevent further spread of the Covid19 might boomerang. So personally I feel that the temple should reopen after the month of Kartika,” stated senior servitor Ramachandra Das Mohapatra.

“Around 500 servitors have been infected with Covid-19 so far and around 18 of them have succumbed to the virus. I think life should be given priority over livelihood. I will present my opinion in this manner in the meeting,” said Das.

“The livelihood of the servitors and many vendors dependent on Srimandir is at stake. Their financial conditions have worsened due to the pandemic. So Odisha government should allow the temple to reopen soon. The devotees should be allowed inside the temple keeping strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols. Not only Srimandir, but also, all the temples across the state should be allowed to reopen,” said Jagannath culture researcher Padmanabha Tripathy.

Earlier, Sevayats of Lord Jagannath Temple had staged a protest on Tuesday demanding the reopening of the 12th-century shrine for devotees.

The State Government had decided to shut down Jagannath temple in March this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the temple has remained closed since then. Only servitors are allowed inside the temple to perform the rituals.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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