The return journey of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra will commence on July 01. The preparations are underway in Puri for the return journey and in view of COVID-19, the temple was also sanitized. The annual chariot festival of Puri, known as 'Rath Yatra' of Lord Jagannath, began on June 23 this year.
Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani on June 22 reacted on Supreme Court's decision on Rath Yatra. He said, "Supreme Court has allowed organisation of Rath Yatra with certain restrictions in Odisha. Keeping this in mind, Gujarat Government has decided to file a petition in Gujarat High Court to seek permission to hold the yatra of Lord Jagannath in Ahmedabad too."
Following Supreme Court's order to allow Rath Yatra to be held in Puri under certain restrictions, Odisha minister for Higher Education and Agriculture Dr Arun Kumar Sahoo said state government welcomes the decision and informs that all safety measures will be taken. "On behalf of devotees of Lord Jagannath, Govt of Odisha welcomes this decision of Supreme Court. All guidelines will be followed strictly. It's our duty to look after how Rath Yatra can be conducted peacefully and safely. State govt will take all measures," said Odisha Min Arun Kr Sahoo.
Snana Poornima festival began in Odisha's Puri for Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra at Shree Jagannath Temple. No devotees are allowed in the temple this year due to coronavirus pandemic. Snana Poornima marks the beginning of the annual Rath Yatra.
Preparations are underway for Rath Yatra at Puri Jagannath Temple. The Supreme Court on June 22 has granted permission to hold the annual chariot festival this year amid COVID-19 pandemic. However, no more than 500 people will be allowed to pull the chariots as per SC's order. The religious rituals are scheduled to start from today onwards. The Odisha government imposed a complete shutdown in Puri from 8 pm on Monday till 2 pm on June 23, in light of the yatra.
The fire and disaster management department sanitised roads in Odisha's Puri ahead of Rath Yatra. They conducted the sanitisation drive at Grand Road of Puri on June 22. Odisha Government and Sree Jagannath Temple Administration are fully prepared to hold the Rath Yatra. Supreme Court on June 22 granted permission to conduct annual Jagannath Rath Yatra amid COVID-19 outbreak. 'Rath', i.e, Chariot, shall be pulled by not more than 500 persons and each of them shall be tested for coronavirus. They shall be permitted to pull the chariot only if they have been found negative. There are 1426 active cases of coronavirus in Odisha.
Supreme Court on June 22 allowed Rath Yatra to be conducted in Puri, Odisha with certain restrictions. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan welcomed the decision and said the guidelines by the Centre, state and Home Affairs Ministry will be followed. BJP National Vice President Baijayant Jay Panda said that SC's decision has come as a huge relief for the devotees. The event is held every year, the event only stopped during Mughal invasion but never in peace time. Petitioner Sarthak Nayak said that the Apex Court said that the Rath Yatra should be conducted in Puri only by following social distancing protocols, so it's the duty of the Centre to coordinate with different wings to perform the event without compromising with the health of the people.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on June 22 thanked the Supreme Court for granting permission to conduct Rath Yatra. CM Patnaik said, "I thank the Supreme Court for granting permission to conduct Rath Yatra". CM Patnaik also thanked the Central Government for their cooperation. "Odisha Government and Sree Jagannath Temple Administration is fully prepared to hold Rath Yatra", added the CM. The CM also accepted that holding Rath Yatra during the times of COVID-19 is extremely challenging. He informed that three ministers will be in Puri for smooth Rath Yatra.
Sale of liquor began in Odisha amid unlock 2.0 on July 01. Liquor shops reopened after gap of over 3 months in Bhubaneswar amid coronavirus pandemic. Liquor will be sold through both online and offline mediums to customers. Wearing face masks is compulsory while buying alcohol as per government guidelines. There are over 1800 active cases of COVID-19 in Odisha.
The sale of mangoes dipped due to coronavirus epidemic in Bhubaneswar and business of mango traders have affected a lot due to it. One of the mango traders said, "Our business has dropped upto 75 percent and even farmers are facing a lot of problems. Price is same as last year but sales have dropped. People have no money to buy mangoes." Over 1800 active cases of coronavirus have been reported in Odisha till now.
A newly-recruited Odisha Finance Service (OFS) officer committed suicide by hanging himself in Khandagiri area of Bhubaneswar. According to the police, he hanged himself due to a family dispute. "We've registered a case based on a complaint that said an Odisha Finance Service officer committed suicide by hanging himself due to a family dispute in Khandagiri area of Bhubaneswar. He was supposed to join the duty in a few days," Deputy Commissioner of Police Anup Kumar Sahoo told ANI.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on June 23 watched live telecast of Jagannath Rath Yatra from his Bhubaneswar office. He also released special Ratha Jatra issue of Utkal Prasanga, a magazine of the state government.
While speaking to ANI, Deputy Director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium, Bhubaneswar, S Pattnaik on solar eclipse stated that the solar eclipse on June 21 will be an annular eclipse. "It'll be visible to entire India as partial eclipse and as an annular eclipse to 3 states- Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Haryana. It'll start around 10:20am and end around 2:20pm," he added.
Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani arrived at Shree Jagannathji Temple in Ahmedabad for Rath Yatra to be held inside the premises on June 23. However, High Court denied the permission for Rath Yatra due to COVID-19. While speaking to media persons, CM Rupani said, "Hearing continued at the High Court till late last night but we could not get permission for Rath Yatra due to COVID-19. I thank the trustee and mahant of the temple for understanding the situation and arranging Rath Yatra inside the temple premises."