Bhubaneswar, Feb 8: Even as the Khandagiri Magha Mela in the city is scheduled to begin from February 19, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation is yet to decide whether the fair will be held with staging open pendal theatres, opening various product and food item selling stalls and participation of the public.
Source said the BMC has left the matter decided by the SRC.
Though the Government have allowed staging of open pendal theatres amid Covid guidelines now, the Jatra Parties seem to have turned a worried lot.
“Artists are conducting rehearsal s for the last three months. After a year’s break, we hope the Khandagiri Mela will help us and artists earn livelihoods,” said Jatya Jena, owner of the Ranga Mahal Jatra Party.
Pabitra Kumar, an artist, said, “We have not been able to earn a single pie for almost a year now. Thank god, Covid situation has improved. We expect Khandagiri Mela will give an opportunity for earning livelihood. Though only about a week is left, the authorities have not taken a decision yet.”
“Open pendal drama and fair can’t be held at the place where they used to be held in earlier years as widening of NH is going on in full swing. We have recommended to the SRC for holding the programmes at two-three different places. The final call will be taken by the SRC,” said BMC Commissioner Premchandra Choudhury.
Choudhury said the BMC has received a mixed response to its proposal of allowing Jatra with participation of 50 of seat strengths.
However, many have opined that there would not be any problem to hold the Jatra as Covid situation has already improved in the State. “An improvement has been marked in the Covid situation. Jatra can be held. Stalls can be put up on the stretches from Jagannath Temple Chhack to Khandagiri and from Khandagiri to Sibananda School,” opined Maa Mangala Cultural Association president Raghu Mohanty.