In a letter to Additional Chief Secretary, Health, PK Mohapatra, the SJTA said, “The employees of Shree Jagannatha Temple Administration are involved in discharging various duties during this Covid pandemic. This includes taking care of the Covid positive persons in the Institutional Isolation Facility (lIF) at Nilachala Bhakta Nivas, assisting the medical teams in vaccination of sevayats and employees.”
“The SJTA staffs are continuously exposed to members of public while assisting performance of rituals inside and outside the temple, looking after the boarding, lodging and accommodation of Rathakhala servitors,” he stated.
“In this context, I request that all such officials of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, Puri, may be declared as COVID warriors for extension of benefits as decided by the state government from time to time,” he added.
Besides, SJTA chief administrator urged the Additional Chief Secretary for financial assistance to the family of two personnel of Jagannath Temple Police (JTP) of SJTA– Pruthimanyu Dash (58) and Pramod Kumar Dash (59) – who succumbed to COVID-19 in April this year.