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Why Announce Jatra?


What is there in Official Announcement on Rath Jatra?

And why some people including opposition BJP and Congress are worried over Odisha Government’s announcement to hold the annual Rath Jatra of Lord Jagannath scheduled for 23 June?

A section of people are constantly asking the State Administration to make an official announcement for holding the Rath Jatra.

Even the people have knocked the doors of the High Court of Orissa and the Supreme Court of India seeking stop of the mega festival amidst COVID-19 Pandemic.

It is also surprising that the people want to get assurance from the State Government that Ratha Jatra will be held this time.

Interestingly, it should be recalled whether the State Government in previous years make any such announcement.

The Rath Jatra is held as usual and there has been no prior announcement prior to the festival.

However, it is another matter that the State Government holds several preparatory meeting every year before the festival which is lacking this year.

This also has a reason for not holding preparatory meetings. Such deliberations made involving different departments like health, police, drinking water, urban development, transport, energy and others.

Those meetings were required for making arrangement for devotees.

When this year amidst the COVID scare when the Rath Jatra to be held without any devotees on the Grand Road, what is the necessity of holding preparatory meetings?

It may be mentioned that the chariot constructions are going on in a breakneck speed and it is much ahead of the time.

The State Government has already made arrangement for live telecast of the Rath Jatra as people will not be allowed to visit Puri on the auspicious day.

This apart, the State Government has also undertaken corona tests of more than 250 servitors who will be part of the Pahandi Bije of Trinity.

This is not all, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration(SJTA)  has also ordered for 5,000 masks in the color combination of three separate chariots.

Ropes have been procured for pulling the chariots and clothes have been ordered for all the three chariots.

Sources said the SJTA has made all required arrangement for holding the Rath Jatra, but refrain to make any official announcement.

There is no need to make any announcement as State Government do not make such commitment earlier also.

Meanwhile, the State Government has stopped train and bus communication to Puri though some hotels have been allowed to do booking.

Therefore, the State Government has made all such required preparation for the Rath Jatra, except making official announcement.  

Before making announcement, the State Government must ensure that all the preparedness is made perfectly because the festival this time will be held in an altogether different circumstance, with maintaining social distancing and other guidelines of the COVID 19 of both the State and Union Government.

 The High Court has also not imposed any restriction.  It has on other hand suggested the State Government to find out an alternative system to pull the chariots.

The HC advised  the State Government to consider deploying machinery or other means like elephants for pulling the chariots to prevent the necessity of involving large number of persons in the Rath Jatra.
 


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