Puri: The 21-day Chandan Jatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri will be held at Narendra Pokhari from May 15 with strict adherence to all COVID-19 protocols and general public will not be allowed to witness the ‘Chapa Khela’ ritual of the Lord.
Puri Collector Samarth Verma said only 50 to 60 servitors will be allowed at the Holy pond to perform the rituals. RT-PCR test of the participants will be conducted 72 hours before the festival.
However, arrangements are being made for live telecast of the festival. A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in this regard will be issued later in the day following the Chhattisa Nijog meeting, he added.
Earlier, District SP K Vishal Singh informed that around 10 platoons of police force will be deployed along the stretch from Singhadwara to Narendra Pokhari every day during the festival. Besides, prohibitory orders under Section-144 will be imposed around the pond.
The decision on observance of the festival outside Srimandir was taken earlier at a meeting chaired by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar on 6 May.
Last year, the festival was held inside the temple premises without devotees owing to nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Rituals of the festival were performed by the servitors