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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Puri: Srimandir will be accessible to all the devotees from Thursday as the district administration has decided to withdraw the mandatory production of Covid-19 negative certificate as a precondition for entry into the 12th century shrine.

According to sources, special arrangements have been made to facilitate darshan for 30,000 devotees every day. Devotees of Puri would be allowed for one hour from 6 am to 7 am every morning while darshan schedule for others will start from 7 am. Public darshan would not be allowed on Sundays.

“The devotees can enter into the temple without having Covid-19 negative report and any identity proof from January 21. The decision will remain in force till February 21. Special arrangements and queue system have been introduced for the devotees to have darshan of the Trinity,” said Abhay Kumar Jena, Srimandir development administrator.

“After thermal scanning and sanitisation the devotees will enter Srimandir through Singhadwara and exit through the North door following darshan of lord Jagannath. A special queue will be made for the divyangas and senior citizens,” said Jena adding that the temple will be closed every Sunday for sanitisation work.

The decision to allow entry of devotees into Srimandir without Covid-19 test report was taken following a lot of hue and cry over production of the negative certificate at the temple gates as every day a large number of devotees had to return dejected after failing to get the test report.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened in Puri. A total of 26 platoons of security forces have been deployed along with two ASP, seven DSP and 20 Inspector rank officers for hassle-free darshan of Lord Jagannath.

All arrangements have reportedly been made for 30,000 devotees to have darshan of the deities per day. This apart, special arrangement has been made senior citizens and differently-abled persons for the same.

Thermal screening of the devotees will be done at the entry point to the Srimandir and those having symptoms will not be allowed into the temple.

The temple was opened in a phased manner from December 23 last year. While the servitors and their family members were allowed to enter the temple from December 23 to December 25 evening, the local residents of Puri got the opportunity to have darshan of the deities between December 26 and 31.The temple was finally opened to the public for darshan of the Trinity from January 3, 2021 adhering to the Covid-19 guidelines.

(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)

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