Tough Restrictions For Rath Yatra In Puri; New Measures Announced
Puri: With preparations in full swing for Rath Yatra here, the district administration on Friday announced that curfew will be clamped in the entire town on the day.
Speaking to media persons on the steps to be taken to prevent congregation of devotees during the world famous festival, district collector Samarth Verma said besides prohibitory order, train and bus services to the town will be cancelled during the period.
All hotels, lodgings and commercial complexes along the Bada Danda (Grand Road) will be evacuated and only local people can watch the Rath Yatra scheduled on July 12, he added.
The collector said he held a meeting with representatives of Puja Panda Nijog, Pasupalak Nijog and Mahaswarg Nijog regarding participation of their members in the festival. The district administration in consultation with the Nijogs will announce the lists of participating priests and servitors in the Rath Yatra.
He further said RT-PCR test of all participants in the festivall will be conducted from July 8. More than 1,000 tests to be conducted with help from the state government daily with the total target set at 3,500, he added.
The test will be carried out among the sevayats, police personnel, sanitation and health workers and officials. Those testing negative for COVID will only participate in pulling the chariots, Verma said.