Bhubaneswar, Oct 8 (PTI) The Odisha government on Thursday asked district collectors to consider the possibility of opening up of places of worship of all religious faiths where compliance to COVID-19 guidelines is feasible.
Chief Secretary A K Tripathy asked the district collectors to consider the possibility of opening up places of worship for the public and submit and report to the government in the next 10-days.
'Dist collectors asked to consider possibility of opening up places of worship for public of all religious faiths where compliance to extant Covid guidelines is feasible and report to Govt. They may prefer graded opening in the interest of containing the disease.@CMO_Odisha,' the chief secretary tweeted.
He also said that the state government has directed the temple administration of Puri and other temples under Endowment commissioner to prepare a plan of action for opening of temples adhering to COVID-19 regulations.
'State govt directs temple admn of Puri and other major temples of state under Endowment to prepare plan of action for opening temples for worshippers adhering to covid regulations. Respective Collectors will submit report after consultation with all stake holders in next 10 days,' Tripathy said in another tweet.
The Orissa High Court on Monday directed the state government and the state endowment commissioner to take an expeditious view of providing financial assistance or ration supply to priests or consider reopening temples which are closed for over six months in the wake of the pandemic.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq asked the government to open the temples in a graded manner in accordance with the laid down modalities after assessing the COVID-19 situation as per the earlier orders issued by the High Court.
The order of the High Court came while disposing of two writ petitions seeking its direction to extend financial relief to servitors of registered temples for the period of lockdown on account of the pandemic.
Earlier, the servitors and priests of different temples across the state had urged the state government to open the temples and allow devotees entry in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.
Apart from this, the servitor under the aegis of the Odisha Mandir Sevayat Sangh had also requested the Chief Minister for his urgent intervention to redress their grievances.
The servitors body said that when the Central government allowed opening of religious places from June 2020, the Odisha government has directed that temples will continue to remain closed for devotees up to this month-end. PTI AAM RG RG