Dilip Kumar

Puri: Like Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, there will be no 'zero night' celebration on the eve of the New Year in pilgrim town Puri too.

The district administration has imposed prohibitions on any kind of celebration in public places on the occasion of New Year.

Similarly, the Sri Jagannath temple will also remain closed for the devotees for two days from the New Year as per earlier decision. However, it will be thrown open for the public from January 3, Puri Collector Balwant Singh said.

"I had told you earlier that no New Year celebration would take place this year as per the State government's guidelines. But, darshan of Lord Jagannath will continue for residents of Puri till December 31,” Singh added.

No hotels, clubs, restaurants, and mandaps will remain open for the public to celebrate the zero-hour this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, he said.

On the other hand, the restrictions imposed by the district administration have shattered the hopes of hoteliers who usually do a brisk business on the New Year.

"Many restrictions have been put in place due to Covid-19, which will dampen the celebrations this year. Government has not allowed any kind of merrymaking in public places this New Year. Moreover, the Sri Jagannath Temple has not yet opened for the outsiders. So, tourist inflow has declined. I hope that normalcy would be restored by January 15,” said Rajkishore Patra, Secretary, Puri Hotel Association.

Similarly, the twin-city (Cuttack-Bhubaneswar) civic bodies also prohibited zero night celebration in the cities.

People have been advised to celebrate the New Year with their family and friends at their private house/establishments by following all the Covid-19 protocols fixed by the government.