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Dilip Kumar

Puri: The district administration has decided to remove the long barricades erected on the Bada Danda of the Sri Jagannath Temple for devotees to come in queue for darshan of the deities.

Informing the development, Puri SP KB Singh said that barricades between Jagannath Ballav mutt and Marichikote Chhak will be removed following complaints of the devotees.

In their feedback, the devotees have complained that they have to wait for hours in long queues to reach the temple through barricades.

"We analysed the feedbacks received from the visitors and have decided to remove the barricades for better convenience of the pilgrims. We urge people to give more feedbacks and share their experience. All types of opinions including positive and negatives are welcomed," Singh said.

Necessary steps have been taken to ensure a hassle-free darshan of Lord Jagannath, he added.

However, the barricades from Marichikot Chhak to the temple will remain in place, the SP said.

Following reopening of the Srimandir for public after New Year, the tourist inflow to the pilgrim town has increased with ease of restrictions including lifting of mandatory submission of Covid-19 negative certificates.

Presently, around 30,000 devotees are allowed to enter the temple in a day. The shrine shrine remains closed on Sundays for sanitisation of premises.

The 12th century temple which remained closed for nine months from March 2019 due to Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown had reopened on December 23, 2019 in a phased manner.

The temple was opened for public from January 3 this year, however devotees were asked to show Covid-19 negative report before entering the shrine.

After extensive discussions and reviews, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) later eased the restriction on January 21 and allowed the devotees to enter the temple amid strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

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