Puri: As the Odisha Government relaxed COVID-19 norms for the devotees for entry into Jagannath Temple here with effect from Thursday, security has been beefed up in the pilgrim town.
Talking to mediapersons on Wednesday after a review meeting, Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh said to maintain law and order in view of large turnout of devotees, extra security measures have been put in place.
He said 26 platoons will be deployed in the town while two senior police officers in the rank of Additional SP, 7 DSPs and 20 Inspectors will remain in charge of the security.
On the arrangements for smooth darshan of devotees, Puri Collector Samarth Verma said for the darshan of the Lords, a special queue has been arranged for the residents of Puri town. They will be allowed entry into the temple for one hour between 6 am and 7 am for which a meeting has been held with the servitor bodies and Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).
Stating that the general devotees will be allowed to enter the temple after 7 am, he said as the general devotees need not show their COVID-19 negative report, it is expected that there will be a heavy turnout of devotees from tomorrow.
Although there will be no COVID negative report for the devotees, the COVID-19 restriction will be strictly followed, he added.
“Before entering the temple, devotees will properly sanitise their hands and undergo thermal scanning. Any devotee having body temperature of 100 Fahrenheit or more will not be allowed,” the Collector said adding that all devotees will have to wear the mask properly.
He further said special arrangements have also been made for the physically challenged and senior citizens for whom there will be no queue system.
Chief Administrator, SJTA, Krishan Kumar said keeping the rising day temperature, arrangements have been made to provide drinking water to devotees. “We have put up 130 drinking water points along the Bada Danda (Grand Road),” he pointed out.