Cuttack: In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Bali Jatra at Gadagadia Ghat on the Mahanadi river bank, on the outskirts of Cuttack city, will not be organised this year.
Talking to mediapersons on Friday, Cuttack Collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani said that the administration has decided not to hold the Jatra, which celebrates the rich maritime tradition of the state, this year as large congregations might further aggravate the situation.
“A formal decision in this regard will be taken at the administrative level once the COVID-19 guidelines for November come into force,” he added.
The collector also said that Bada Osa at Dhabaleswar Peeth of Lord Siva will not be possible this year.
Welcoming the decision of the district administration, secretary of Bali Jatra Byabasayee Sangh Sukanta Mohanty said that all the Sangh members have unanimously supported the decision of the administration. “Considering the COVID-19 situation, our lives are more important than our livelihood. If we survive, we will be able to arrange the Bali Jatra in the future,” he pointed.
Mohanty, however, said that the traders, who come to the Bali Jatra for business every year, will be severely affected.