Rukuna Rath Yatra In Bhubaneswar Doubtful Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Bhubaneswar: Amid the lockdown imposed across the country because of Coronavirus, Rukuna Yatra celebrations slated for April 1 in the state seem improbable.

However, the construction of Lord Lingaraj’s chariot for the yatra is going on in full swing despite the lockdown and social distancing norms.

Speaking about the ongoing construction work, chief architect of the chariot, Batakrushna Maharana said, “We haven’t faced any problems in the construction yet. Though we know the guidelines, it’s our duty to complete the chariot before time.”

The construction work began eight days before Dola Purnima and 70 artisans are toiling everyday to complete the work before March 31, 2020.

As per the lockdown norms laid down by the state government, any kind of religious celebrations which may invite public participation and all religious institutions like temples, mosques, churches and Gurudwaras will be closed for public as a precautionary measure in view of the outbreak.

It also stated that important rituals pertaining to religious shrines like Jagannath Temple or Lingaraj Temple can be carried out without public participation.

Speaking about the lockdown, a servitor said, “We all know about the lockdown and the rules pertaining to that, but we, as servitors have been exempted from its ambit. We were not barred to perform rituals of the Lord.”

Congress leader and Jatni MLA Sura Routray has requested the state to allow the police personnel and servitors to pull the chariot of Lord Lingaraj.

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