The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Monday introduced a queue system for entering the temple premises here on an experimental basis as part of reforms suggested by the Supreme Court.
Devotees would now enter the 12th-century shrine in a queue through the ‘Singhadwara’ (main gate) and move through barricades. They will exit through ‘Uttaradwara’ (north gate). There will be separate barricades for men and women.
“Accompanied by Puri Collector, SP, IGP and other administration officials, I entered the temple in a queue and paid obeisance to deities. There is no obstacle and disturbances anywhere,” SJTA chief administrator P K Mohapatra said.
Mohapatra said the queue system has been introduced on experimental basis.
Physically challenged and elderly people can enter the temple through the three other gates, Mohapatra said
However, as soon as the temple gate was opened on Monday morning, thousands of devotees, mostly locals, barged into the temple, ignoring the order of the temple administration. Some of the devotees uprooted the barricade, officials said.
“We have not put up barricades inside the temple. We will examine the CCTV footage to find out who had breached the queue,” said Puri Collector Jyoti Prakash Das.
The district collector said the administration was open to suggestions from devotees about the problems they face due to the queue system, so that alternative arrangements can be made.
“Action will be taken against those involved in creating disturbance and breaking the barricades,” SP Sarthak Sarangi said.
The temple administration has plans to implement the new system on an experimental basis once every week till the month of ‘Kartik’ in Hindu calendar, sources said.
Sri Jagannath Sena, a local socio-cultural outfit, has given a call 12-hour Puri bandh on Wednesday to oppose the introduction of queue system for entering into the Jagannath temple.