AC Corridor For Puri Jagannath Temple Devotees By Month-End; Know More
Puri: Amid efforts to accelerate different works of Puri Parikrama project, the Odisha government has decided to introduce an air-conditioned corridor for devotees, who wait in queue for darshan of the sibling deities at Jagannath Temple here.
The plan involves an 84-metre-long and 6-metre-wide tunnel-like corridor on Grand Road, facing the shrine, and it is expected to completed by the end of this month. “An AC corridor will be set up from Marchikot Chhak to the shrine’s office, where a canopy till the temple already exists. Drinking water facilities would also be provided to devotees in the proposed corridor,” said Puri sub-collector Bhabataran Sahoo.
The structure will be dismantled during Rath Yatra, he said, adding that talks are on with the stakeholders pertaining to the proposed corridor being built by Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation Limited.
“We have received direction from the government to complete the tunnel along the Grand Road for queue management at the earliest. There will steel barricades inside it. After 40 metre, there will be a temporary shoe stand. There will also be a toilet facility,” OBCC officer Prabhat Panigraphy said.
He added that they have set December 25 deadline for the work.
Sources further said that the stretch from Singhdwar to Marchikot Chhak will also be cleared of street vendors and they will be rehabilitated near a multi-car parking at Jagannath Ballav Pilgrim Centre. “Since Bada Danda has been declared a national highway, vending zone cannot be allowed. Earlier, we were not able to provide them an alternative to do business. We have held talks with different market associations and a decision to shift them to the parking area has been taken which will save them the trouble of disruption in business during Rath Yatra and several other occasions when the shops are closed,” said Puri municipality executive officer Saroj Swain.
On Saturday, 5T and Nabin Odisha Chairman V K Pandian also visited the 12th-century shrine and directed the officials to make necessary arrangements for effective crowd control. They were asked to ensure that the devotees are able to visit the temple and have darshan of the sibling deities in a smooth and disciplined manner.
Last month, five elderly women were hospitalised after they fainted due to suffocation while standing in queues, which stretched up to two km from Market Square to the temple amid Kartika vrata rush.
The Puri administration has also faced criticism over crowd management and darshan system at the temple in the past. As per the existing system, devotees are made to wait outside the temple for hours until pilgrims inside move out of the premises. This is usually implemented when the pilgrim town witnesses huge footfall. The devotees had also complained about lack of drinking water and toilet facilities.