Now visitors can get first-aid inside Puri Srimandir

Puri: In a welcome step for tourists and devotees visiting the Puri Jagannath Temple (Srimandir) especially old-aged and ailing persons, the State Government today decided to set up a new primary health centre (PHC) inside the temple premises to provide urgent first-aid treatment to patients in case of emergencies.

“For the welfare of tourists and devotees who visit Puri, we have decided to establish a PHC inside the temple premises,” Health Minister Pratap Jena said adding that the new health unit will have a doctor, pharmacist, nurse and other facilities.

“The move to set up a first-aid clinic will be of immense help to people like women and old persons as they can be immediately treated ahead of being taken to hospitals and this can also save lives,” a devotee said.

Temple servitors have also welcomed the decision of the government to establish toilet facilities outside the temple saying that this was long-awaited.

Similarly, a special ramp to facilitate easy and hassle free movement of differently-abled visitors and devotees is also on the anvil as part of various development activities that are being taken up in and around the 12th century shrine ahead of the Rath Yatra this year, the minister informed.

These apart, the government has also planned to set up toilets outside the temple premises to maintain cleanliness, said sources.

Jena said work on a 2,000-bed lodging facility for ‘Habisyalis’ (Women devotees who observe ‘brata’ in Hindu month of Kartik) will also begin from this week.

“Most importantly efforts are on to retrieve vast patches of temple land from encroachers in several parts of the state,” Jena said after a review meeting in presence of temple and district administration authorities today.