Berhampur: The Ganjam district administration on Monday prohibited the general darshan of Maa Budhi Thakurani in Bada Bazaar area, the temporary abode of the goddess, after two priests were tested positive for Covid-19.
Devotees will not be allowed to have the darshan of the goddess at her temporary abode till the end of the biennial yatra which will conclude of April 16, said reports.
Only 10 people, including Yatra committee authorities and pujaks will be allowed at a time at the mandap of Maa Budhi Thakurani. Similarly, barricades have been installed on the four sides of the mandap.
No persons residing outside Desibehera Sahi are being allowed to enter the area. Only locals and shopkeepers have permission to enter the region, added the reports.
Amid the restrictions, the district administration has decided to arrange facilities for virtual darshan of the Goddess.
Earlier, devotees and general public were allowed to have darshan between 5 am to 10 am in the morning and again between 4 pm to 9 pm in the afternoon. However, they were not being permitted to offer bhogas, coconuts, banana and diyas before the deity. They were only allowed to have the darshan.
On the other hand, people in huge number were seen participating in Danda Nacha and Budhi Thakurani Yatra despite restrictions on public gathering. Though the district administration has capped gathering at Danda Nacha to a maximum of 25 persons, hundreds of people congregated at the festival, violating the Covid-19 norms.
Similarly, Bada Bazaar area also remained crowded ever since the Budhi Thakurani Yatra kicked off.
Meanwhile, amid the sudden surge in the Covid-19 cases in the bordering districts of Odisha, the Ganjam administration has imposed restrictions on public place and tourist destination in the district.
Gopalpur and Sunapur beaches will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Similarly, Ramalingeshwar park and Tampra will be closed on Mondays. Maa Taratarini temple will remain closed on every Wednesday.
The district administration had earlier prohibited the arrangement of feasts outside and in the nearby areas of the temple. This apart, the ritual of tonsuring children’s heads has also been banned at the Tara Tarini temple.
(Edited By Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)