Like last year, the historic Baliyatra in Cuttack city of Odisha will not be organised this year too due to Covid-19 situation, an official said yesterday.
“In view of restrictions imposed due to Covid-19, we will not be able to conduct the annual Baliyatra this year. Even though the Covid-19 cases came down in the state, it has not been rooted out till now. So the festival cannot be organised,” Cuttack collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani said.
However, people can celebrate the Boita Bandana Utsav in compliance with Covid-19 guidelines of the State government, he informed.
There is a possibility of outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic as a large number of people visit the seven-day long Baliyatra. So, the decision was taken, sources said.
Baliyatra, the seven-day festival, is being observed for over 1,000 years in the city simultaneously with Boita Bandana Utsav on the full moon day in the holy month of Kartik. The festival reminds people of the rich maritime glory of Odisha. The traders of Odisha known as Sadhabas used to sail to Bali, Java, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Borneo etc on this day in the distant past.
The festival was not organised last year due to an increase in Covid-19 cases in the state.