Puri: Amid rising cases of Covid-19 in Puri district, the Suar-Mahasuar Niyog of Srimandir has decided not to sell Mahaprasad to people outside the Holy City.
The Suar-Mahasuar Niyog Sunday took a decision to restrict the sale of Mahaprasad after receiving a suggestion in this regard from the district administration, sources said.
It is learnt that the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) had decided to stop cooking of Mahaprasad for sale purpose due to the rise in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Puri. Puri Collector Balwant Singh held discussions with the Suar-Mahasuar Niyog and sought their cooperation on the issue.
“We have decided to cook less amount of Mahaprasad for sale purpose as per the direction of the SJTA. The temple delicacies would be sold to the residents of Puri city and the servitors’ families only. We will not sell Mahaprasad to people outside the Holy City,” said Suar-Mahasuar Niyog secretary Krushna Chandra Pratihari.
Pratihari further revealed that they would cook Mahaprasad for only 1,000-1,500 people. “Now, we require less number of workers to help us in the cooking of the temple delicacies. We have decided to restrict the sale of Mahaprasad to check the spread of novel coronavirus,” Pratihari added.
It is worth mentioning here that Srimandir has been shut for devotees since March 20 this year. However, servitors have been performing the temple rituals amid the shutdown.
“Even though the 12th century shrine has been closed for people since March, the Suar and Mahasuar servitors were selling Mahaprasad to the devotees. Many people used to congregate at the various gates of Srimandir to buy the temple delicacies. There were reports that the people did not maintain social distancing while buying Mahaprasad. So, the administration had asked the Suar-Mahasuar Niyog to restrict Mahaprasad sale,” said a source in the SJTA.