Sharmili Mallick

Puri: Keeping in view the massive congregation during Rath Yatra in Puri, toll taxes will not be collected at Pipili Toll Gate during Gundicha Yatra, Bahuda Yatra and Suna Besha, informed Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA),  Pradipta Mohapatra after the final co-ordination meeting on Rath Yatra preparedness today.

Visitors will be exempted from paying toll tax on Gundicha Yatra on July 4, Bahuda Yatra on July 12 (nine days after Gundicha Yatra) and Suna Besha of the Holy Trinity on July 13.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik chaired the meeting and reviewed the preparedness for the annual festival. Apart from the CM, Health Minister Naba Das, Law Minister Pratap Jena, Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi, and DGP RP Sharma also attended the high-level meeting.

The CM reviewed health services, drinking water facilities, drainage and security arrangements for Rath Yatra. The meeting also focused on the complete restoration of power supply in the district.

"Five ambulances to be kept ready from July 1 to July 15 in view of security on national highway," Mohapatra said.

“I have requested everyone to co-operate so that the Rath Yatra becomes successful,” said the CM.

Earlier in the morning, some members of the student wing of Congress party showed black flags to CM’s cascade near Mausi Maa Temple on Badadanda protesting his visit to the Fani-hit district. Later, they were detained by the police.