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Environmentalist proposes permanent construction of chariots for Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra

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Tuesday, 24 May 2022 (17:36 IST)
Puri: Noted environmentalist Jagannath Bastia has proposed to construct permanent three chariots for the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath and his siblings.

Quoting the forest department sources he said it is becoming difficult to get seasoned trees for use in the construction of the chariots.

The necessary timber for use in the chariots was collected from four districts and the trees planted under Sri Jagannath Banaprakalp to meet the requirement need decades to mature.

Bastia told the rath yatra coordination committee held here on Monday that every year over thousands of trees were cut for the construction of the three chariots adding if the cutting of thousands of trees continues it will have a serious adverse impact on the environment.

The trees planted under Sri Jagannath Banaprakalp to meet the requirement are a failure project, the environmentalist said.

He further said the Nabagrah committee headed by the then Odisha governor B D Sharma and Justice RK Patra commission had recommended constructing permanent chariots for the Rath Yatra.

Mostly three types of mature timber of Asana, Dhaura and Phasi are used for the construction of chariots. These are used as axles, wheels and chassis of the chariots.

However, many servitors present in the meeting objected to the proposal on the ground that it is against the age-old tradition.

It may be recalled that in the past when shortage of these trees became acute and reported in the media, the devotees offered trees in their backyard as donation to the Sri Jagannath temple.

The temple administration has been receiving these trees as donations from devotees living in Nayagarh and Khurdha districts and presenting them with mementos for their generous donation.

However, these donations have considerably declined over the years. (UNI)

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