Puri: Devotees may soon have the opportunity to get glimpses of Lord Jagannath and his siblings at Srimandir here, said Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee member Ramchandra Dasmahapatra Thursday.
Dasmahapatra claimed that deliberations are on to introduce online registration for devotees to visit the 12th century shrine. However, sources in the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) made it clear that the shrine authorities have not taken any decision on the issue. Many devotees, meanwhile, opposed any move to introduce online registration system for visiting Srimandir.
According to Dasmahapatra, the residents of Puri city would get the chance to visit Srimandir in the initial phase. Subsequently, devotees from other places would have the opportunity to visit the shrine and pay obeisance to the Holy Trinity. “A blueprint is being devised to introduce an online registration system for devotees. Devotees can register themselves by submitting their identity cards and other details. The shrine authorities would inform the devotees regarding the date and time of their visit to the Srimandir,” he said.
It is worth mentioning here that the temple authorities had introduced a set of guidelines for devotees March 16 this year to check the spread of coronavirus. As per the guidelines, devotees were told to wear masks and submit a self-declaration form describing their travel history and health status. Moreover, the devotees were advised to wash their hands before entering into Srimandir and refrain from touching Aruna and Garuda pillars.
However, the shrine was shut for devotees March 20 as there were several problems to enforce the new guidelines. Since then, the shrine doors have been closed for the devotees. However, rituals of the shrine are being performed without any interruption.
It is learnt that closing down of Srimandir has affected the tourism sector of the Holy City. Most of the hotels and lodging houses are struggling hard to get tourists.
When contacted, SJTA administrator (rituals) Jitendra Kumar Sahu said the temple authorities have not held any discussion to introduce an online registration system. “The temple has been shut for devotees for last four and a half months,” he added.
Many devotees, meanwhile, claimed that the online system would create issues for the common people. “Elderly people and many common devotees would find it very difficult to register themselves online to visit Srimandir. The temple authorities should not introduce the online system,” said a devotee.