Process Begins For Reopening Of Religious Institutions In Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Monday said the process for reopening temples and other religious institutions, which were closed due to Covid-19 outbreak, has started in the state.

The government initiated the process for opening of the religious institutions for the devotees following decline in single-day Covid-19 positive cases in the state.

All public places of worship are closed since March March 22 following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Chief secretary Asit Tripathy, in a tweet, informed that the collectors have been empowered to take decision to reopen the religious institutions in respective districts after discussing with stakeholders and preparing standard operating procedures (SoPs).

“The state government has earlier empowered Collectors to take local level decisions to open religious instns for public worship after discussing with stakeholders & putting SoPs in place. It is understood that the process in on for opening religious institutions in different districts,” he tweeted.

Notably, there has been demand for reopening of temples, churches and mosques for general public.

The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has sought the state government’s approval for reopening the Jagannath Temple in Puri for the devotees in a graded manner from December 23.

As per the meeting of Chattisa Nijog (apex body of temple servitors), devotees of Puri district will be allowed initially to have the darshan of the deities while devotees outside the district will be allowed to visit the temple from January 3.

A maximum of 5000 devotees will be allowed in a day to have darshan of the Lord Jagannath and his siblings, said an official.

The number of Covid-19 positive cases stood at 3,24,089 in Odisha while 3,19,069 persons have already recovered. The total number of active cases is 3,156. As many as 1811 people succumbed to the virus so far.

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