MHA gives permission for chariot construction for Puri Rath Yatra

Bhubaneswar, May 7 (IANS) The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Thursday granted permission for construction of chariots for the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath and his siblings at Odisha's Puri.

However, the decision on conduct of Rath Yatra will be taken by the Odisha government keeping in view the conditions prevailing at that point of time, it said.

The activity of Rath construction is allowed to be undertaken in the Ratha Khala, which is situated on both sides of the Grand Road in front of the Temple Office and Sri Nahar (Palace), subject to specific conditions, MHA under secretary Ashish Kumar Singh said in a letter to Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy.

The MHA said that no religious congregation shall takes place in the Ratha Khala and complete segregation of Ratha Khala should be ensured.

“The new guidelines on lockdown measures issued by the MHA on May 1, 2020 including the National Directives for COVID-19 Management should be compulsorily adhered to,” it said.

Earlier, the state government had sought permission of the MHA for construction of chariots during the lockdown period.

The Jagannath Temple managing committee had recommended the state government to allow construction of chariots for Rath Yatra scheduled to be held on June 23 this year.

Chariot construction was supposed to be started from Akshaya Tritiya festival.

Over million devotees throng Puri town to witness the annual Rath Yatra.

The temple doors have been shut since March 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only day-to-day rituals are being done by the servitors.



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