Centre gives nod to start construction of chariots for Puri Rath Yatra

Bhubaneswar: The Union government  on Thursday approved the construction of chariots for the world famous Rath Yatra in Odisha’s Puri, subject to lockdown guidelines.

The Ratha construction activities will be held at Ratha-Khala near the Srimandir  in the holy city.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written a letter to the State’s Chief Secretary in this regard.

“The  Ratha construction activities in the Ratha-khala, which is situated on both sides of the Grand Road in front of the Temple Office and Sri Nahar (Palace) be immediately permitted, ” said the the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a letter to the Chief Secretary , Government of Odisha.

The MHA however directed the State government to ensure that no religious congregation takes place in the Ratha-khala and complete segregation of Ratha-khala, adhering to the social distancing norms.

The MHA has also left the decision to organise the Rath Yatra on Odisha government keeping in view the conditions prevailing at that point of time.

Sources said, at least 100 carpenters (Maharana and Bhoi sevaks) are likely to be engaged on construction of three chariots for Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra.

On Wednesday , the Odisha government sought permission from the Centre for construction of chariots during the lockdown period.

The annual Rath Jatra is scheduled on June 23.

Notably, the state government had cancelled Rukuna Rath Yatra of Lord Lingaraj in Bhubaneswar, which was to be held on April 1, due to the the COVID-19 pandemic.

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