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Puri King urges people to plant trees for chariots

Bhubaneswar, Sep 5: Puri King and Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb on Monday urged upon people to plant trees from now so that the need of timber for making of chariots of the Lord Jagannath and His siblings would be met in coming years. 

“Timber is needed every year for construction of the three chariots of the deities for the Rath Yatra. It was not a problem in the past as Odisha had a large forest cover, but now it has become a difficult proposition,” he said while addressing a state-level conference on the issue jointly organized by the SOA University and ‘Prerana’, an NGO working for protection of environment and forest.

“In view of this problem, suggestions have even come for construction of permanent metallic chariots to do away with the need for timber and the thinking is still persisting,” the Gajapati Maharaja said.

He said the Government had launched the ‘Shree Jagannath Vana Prakalpa’, an afforestation programme, a few years ago to ensure availability of trees like ‘Fasi’ needed for chariot making, but the people should also extend their cooperation by planting such trees in their own backyard.

Addressing the gathering, Union Minister Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan lauded the endeavour of ‘Prerana’ for protection of environment.

SOA Vice-Chancellor Prof Amit Banerjee among many others graced the occasion. 

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