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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: The decision of the administration to recommend Odisha government for reopening of Puri Jagannath temple ahead of New Year has been welcomed by devotees from across the State and outside.

The excitement among the devotees has reached its zenith as they have been deprived of the darshan of the Lord Jagannath and his siblings since the enforcement of lockdown following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the month of March this year.

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Saturday held a crucial meeting with the Chhatisa Nijog to chalk out a detailed strategy for reopening of the shrine which the devotees and servitors have been demanding since long.

During the meeting a detailed discussion was held on several aspects and proposals were made to recommend the State government for allowing the shrine to reopen its gates for the devotees.

Here Are The Key Proposals Made At Chhatisa Nijog Meeting;

- Temple Administration to recommend for reopening of temple between December 22 and 24

- The residents of Puri to get first chance to have darshan of deities for first one week

- Jagannath Temple to remain closed on New Year (January 1 and 2, 2021) in view of large congregation

- Temple gates likely to reopen for devotees (general darshan) from January 3,2021

- Covid-19 negative report likely to be made mandatory for all devotees coming from outside

- Masks and other Covid-19 protocols to be strictly enforced

- Cap on devotees turnout. 5,000 devotees to be allowed in first phase after reopening of temple

- Restrictions on diyas and flowers in the temple

- Temple administration to issue a SOP for devotees

- Special queue system likely to be introduced to regulate crowd

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