Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri from today in a limited manner

The Supreme Court on Monday granted permission to organize Lord Jagannath's Rath Yatra with strict conditions in Puri, Odisha. This rath yatra will start from Tuesday and there will be no public participation in it. The apex court amended its June 18 order keeping in mind the view of the Odisha government.

The state government had said that the Rath Yatra can be organized in a limited manner without the presence of public. The court had earlier said that in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the historic Rath Yatra cannot be allowed to be organized this year.

A bench of Chief Justice S Bobde, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice AS Bopanna, after hearing several applications filed in the case, in its order directed the Odisha government to impose curfew in the city of Puri during the procession of the Rath Yatra and all the city entryways should be closed.

The Chief Justice presided over the hearing through video conference from his residence in Nagpur. The bench said that not more than 500 people would be drawn to each chariot and that every person doing so would be screened for covid-19 infection and its complete medical details would be kept safe. Not only this, the persons involved in chariot pulling will follow the rules of social distance before, during and even after the chariot is pulled.

The bench said in its order, "Certainly, if it is possible to ensure that there will be no public presence, then we see no reason why the Rath Yatra is not conducted safely on the normal route from temple to temple." Can be done.

Earlier, in view of the Corona epidemic, the Court, in its order on 18 June, did not allow the historic Rath Yatra to be organized. Also, the court remarked that if we allow it, Lord Jagannath will not forgive us. This Rath Yatra festival starts from June 23 and lasts for 10 to 12 days and the return of Rath Yatra is scheduled for July on the date of 'Bahuda Jatra'.

For this festival, three huge wooden chariots are built for Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, and during nine days in Puri, Shridhaalu drags it twice to more than three kilometers. As per the decision of the state government, along with the direction of the Orissa High Court, 372 people engaged in the construction of three grand chariots were separated for one and a half months.