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Rukuna Ratha Jatra of Lord Lingaraj will be held this year but without participation of devotees

Bhubaneswar:9/4/21:The famous Rukuna Ratha Jatra of Lord Lingaraj will be held this year but without participation of devotees, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) informed today.

The move came at a consultative meeting held with stakeholders of the Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar, on Thursday on the celebration of Ashokastami car festival scheduled on April 20, 2021.

At the meeting, it was decided that the car festival will be celebrated with strict adherence to the following COVID-19 guidelines:

1. No devotees will be allowed to participate in the car festival as well as return car festival

2. Only Sebayats will be allowed to conduct the car festival and return car festival.

3. The temple authorities to coordinate with BMC for sanitization of the chariot before putting to use.

4. All Sebayats shall have to undergo mandatory RT-PCR testing before 48 hours of day of Car Festival and Return Car Festival. Only those Sebayats coming out negative can participate in the festival.

5. Sebayats who are allowed for festival with negative RT-PCR reports shall have to use masks during the festival and maintain social distancing as per COVID Protocol.

6. The temple authorities to ensure thermal Screening of Sebayats on daily basis before allowing them for participation and also make provision for hand sanitization.

7. Other activities like food vendors/Meena bazaars/cultural functions and other kinds are strictly prohibited as it will lead to gathering and un-hygienic environment.

8. Burning of Fire Crackers during car procession or any other moments are strictly prohibited.

9. Spitting during the festival and chewing of PAN /Gutkha is strictly prohibited.

10. Sebayats with Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI)/Influenza Like Illness (ILI) like symptoms shall not be allowed to participate in the festival.

11. The guidelines mentioned above shall be followed scrupulously by all concerned. Any deviation will entail individual action as well as revoking this permission.

Last year, the Rukuna Ratha Jatra of Lord Lingaraj was suspended due to nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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