Bhubaneswar: The Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee Monday resolved to go ahead with the construction of chariots for the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath scheduled to be held June 23.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the temple managing committee chaired by Puri Gajapati Maharaja Dibya Singha Deb. Chariot construction could not start in view of the lockdown imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
“The managing committee meeting today unanimously decided to go for chariot construction as it is not a religious function, rather an activity associated with construction,” Deb told reporters after the meeting.
He, however, made it clear that the final decision on the matter would be taken by the state government. Deb said it was decided at the meeting that construction of chariots was not a religious function and is associated with construction work, which is allowed by the Ministry of Home Affairs in all three zones—red, orange and green—during the ongoing lockdown.
Puri town has so far not reported any COVID-19 case, Puri Gajapati said, adding that the pilgrim town comes under the green zone and therefore, there should be no restriction on construction activities.
Meanwhile, Daitapati Niyog wrote to Chief Minister to go ahead with the annual fair which, it said, should not be stopped at all. The fair be organised with some restrictions, it said. The chariot fair can be held smoothly with curbs ensuring safety of people. “Puri is in green zone. The age-old tradition of Rath Yatra can be observed. There is still time left for the chariot construction work, if the government so desires,” the Niyog noted.