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Odishatv Bureau

Puri: Shree Jagannath Temple Administration's (SJTA) ban on Paan and Gutkha inside Puri Srimandir came into effect from today. The move has been initiated with the sole aim to maintain proper sanitation inside the temple, which means no devotee or servitor can enter the premises chewing Paan or Gutkha.

As per the new norms, a fine of up to Rs 500 will be imposed if anyone is found violating the ban.

The initiative of SJTA has been welcomed by both devotees and servitors. "We welcome this step; we will also avoid chewing paan. If any servitor is found chewing pan inside the temple premises, government must take stringent action against him," said a servitor of the temple.

Another servitor said, "I am sure within seven to eight days, every one will be aware of the new norms and we will also ensure none of our brothers enter the temple chewing paan."

On the other hand, a devotee at the Puri temple alleged that public cannot be forced to abide by the rule unless the servitors follow them strictly. "We just saw the Pandas (servitors) chewing paan inside the temple. They need to stop first for the effective implementation of the norm," he said.

"No one will be allowed to chew or take paan with them inside the temple. We are taking care of it and the servitors are also fully cooperating with us. We are also trying to make people aware of the new rule," said a policeman deployed at the temple.

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