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Devbrat Patnaik

Puri: The Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) here has convened an all-important meeting with the Chhatisa Nijog on Saturday (December 12) to chalk out plans for reopening of the 12th-century shrine.

As per sources, the administration has written to all the servitors’ body including servitors of Suar Mahasuar Nijog, Pujapanda, Pratiharis, and Khuntia Nijogs to remain present during the discussion which will probably decide the future course of action with regard to opening Srimandir temple doors for general public.

Chief administrator of SJTA Krishan Kumar has said arrangements are being made to open Puri Jagannath temple for devotees by the second or third week of December and accordingly special SOPs would be formulated for the devotees visiting the shrine.

“If Srimandir reopens, devotees will get the opportunity to experience spiritual bliss amidst the fear of the pandemic,” Puri Sadar MLA Jayant Sarangi had stated while urging CM Naveen to allow reopening of Puri Jagannath temple.

Worth mentioning, the State government had earlier directed the temple administration of Puri and other major shrines of Odisha under Endowment to prepare a plan of action for opening temples for worshippers adhering to Covid regulations. Collectors were asked to submit a report after consultation with all stakeholders.

“All district collectors have been asked to consider the possibility of opening up places of worship for public of all religious faiths where compliance to extant Covid guidelines is feasible and report to goverment. They may prefer graded opening in the interest of containing the disease,” Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy had said.

The Jagannath Temple in Puri is shut since March 20, ever since a lockdown was enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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