Puri: The uncertainty over the organisation of this year’s Rath Yatra, one of the biggest religious gatherings in the world, further deepened with extension of the nationwide lockdown by two more weeks from May 4.
Soon after the decision of the Centre to extend the lockdown beyond May 3, a group of Daitapati servitors of Srimandir held discussions on the annual mega event with Gajapati king Dibyasingha Deb through videoconferencing Friday, sources said.
However, neither the Gajapati king nor the servitors did reveal anything concrete on this year’s Yatra.
Senior Maharana servitor Khushnachandra Maharana, who has been appointed as the Mukhya Bishwakarma (head carpenter) for the construction of Darpadalan Rath, maintained that it would be impossible on the part of the carpenters to build the three chariots within a short span of time.
On the other hand, the head carpenter for Nandighosa chariot, Bijay Kumar Mahapatra, revealed that the temple administration is yet to discuss anything with regard to chariot construction.
In this scenario, at least 30 logs meant for chariot construction reached the Holy City from Boudh forest range Saturday.
It is worth mentioning here that the Rath Anukula (beginning of chariot construction) ritual was launched inside Srimandir on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya April 26. However, the chariot construction work remains suspended due to the nationwide lockdown over the novel coronavirus.
Speculations are rife that the state government may cancel this year’s Rath Yatra due to the coronavirus outbreak.