Puri: Even as servitors are against the reopening of Sri Jagannath temple for devotees in view of the Covid-19 situation, Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) held discussions on the issue with different sections of the society through a video conferencing here on Friday.
Following the directives of the State Government, SJTA sought opinions from the intellectuals, senior citizens, academicians, leading NGOs, businessmen, hoteliers, bus and auto association members about the issue.
SJTA administrator (development) Ajay Kumar Jena has said that the temple body will submit the deliberation report to the government for final approval.
“We will also apprise the consolidated report of last six days to the State Government including Covid-19 situation in Puri, the expected number of footfalls during the holy month of Kartika, and the decision of the managing committee," said Jena.
According to sources, the State Government is expected to take any decision by taking all the opinions and ground situation into account.
The servitors of the temple have shown reluctance towards the idea of reopening the 12th century shrine for devotees as more than 500 servitors have tested positive for Covid-19. Besides, a dozen of priests have already succumbed to the virus.
Various servitors groups associated with the temple have urged the authorities of the shrine to consider reopening of the temple after the holy month of Kartika.
It is worth mentioning that the shrine has been closed for last seven months due to the spread of Covid-19.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)