In Odisha, the world famous Rath Yatra in Puri will be held without any devotees. In addition, the state government has prohibited Rath Yatras in any other temple across the state, due to the ongoing pandemic. The Rath Yatra falls on the 12th of July this year.
AIR Correspondent reports, this is for the second consecutive time that the car festival in Puri, that attracts general devotees in lakhs every year, will have none of them. However, the annual festival in the holy city of Puri will be observed by the Sree Jagannath Temple servitors with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, in conformity with the direction of the Supreme Court issued last year.
While each of the participating servitors, police personnel and other officials must have either been fully vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19, a maximum of 500 persons would be allowed to pull each of the three chariots of the deities. Meanwhile, Odisha police, while enforcing COVID containment guidelines, have collected an amount of Rs 14.58 crore as fine, in addition to the seizure of 29 thousand vehicles from COVID-19 violators during the statewide lockdown that is in force till the 17th of this month.