Puri: Ahead of the scheduled reopening of the Jagannath temple here on December 23, the Puri district administration on Monday issued the guidelines for the darshan of the deities.
Puri Collector Balwant Singh said only sevayats and their families will be allowed to enter the shrine for darshan from December 23 to 25. The residents of Puri town and nearby areas will be allowed darshan from December 26 to 31.
“The sevayats and their families will be allowed the entry for three days till December 25. From December 25 to 31, permission will be given to the people of Puri town and its nearby areas for the darshan for which the temple will remain open for 14 hours from 7.30 am till the Pahuda rituals of the Lords,” the collector said.
“We have extended the date for the sevayats to one more day to determine the number of devotees we can accommodate at a time at the temple every day with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines,” he added.
Guidelines For Puri Residents
Singh said for the people of Puri town and its nearby areas, the darshan will be done on the basis of wards.
“As the Puri Municipality has 32 wards, the administration will select the wards and provide tokens to the people through ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, Swachh Bharat Sathis and local volunteers. The administration will announce the date and name the ward numbers so that the people of the wards concerned will be allowed to visit the temple on these days,” he pointed out.
Ward-Wise Day Of Darshan
On the day of darshan, the collector said the residents of the selected wards will arrive at the Municipal Market Square after keeping their vehicles at Jagannath Ballav Mutt. There they will show their token and valid identity proof like Aadhar Card or Voter I-Card. If anyone doen’t have these documents, the municipal authorities will make arrangements to provide them with an identity card.
“After showing the identity card, the people of the wards concerned will move in a queue to the temple and keep their shoes and mobile phones at the shoe stands. To verify the identity proof of the people, there will be 8-10 counters near the temple where the officials will take the photo of each person as proof that they belong to the specific ward. This arrangement has been done to identify outsiders,” Singh said.
“As some people of Puri town used to visit the temple frequently, we will fix separate timing for them. There will be one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening earmarked for them. But for outsiders, they will only be allowed darshan during the daytime,” he maintained.
On the steps the administration has taken to ensure proper implementation of COVID-19 guidelines, he said the people of Puri town and its periphery areas need not show a COVID-19 negative certificate as the administration is aware of the town profile.
“However, if any person of Puri town is willing to visit the temple after January 3, he/she will have to show the COVID-19 negative report,” he added.
The collector further stated that the administration has requested people with 65 years of age and above, persons with comorbid conditions and children below 10 years not to visit the temple as a precautionary measure.
Besides, people from outside Puri will have to show a COVID-19 negative certificate before entering the temple.