Shirdi temple begins online pass system

Chennai: The management of the renowned Sai Baba temple in Shirdi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district on Monday asked people to obtain passes online for ‘darshan’ and ‘aarti’ to avoid crowding in view of the coronavirus outbreak, an official said.

A statement from the Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust said the decision on online passes will be implemented from 14 January.

The passes can be obtained from the temple’s official website and it would help control the crowds that come to the temple, especially on Thursday, weekends, auspicious days and public holidays, an official said

The free and paid pass distribution centre in the temple premises will be closed on these days when there is heavy rush, he said.

Two days ago, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) announced that devotees need not produce their Covid-19 negative report for getting entry into the 12th century shrine in Puri from 21 January.

The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting attended by SJTA chief Krishan Kumar, Puri district magistrate-cum collector Samarth Verma and Superintendent of Police KB Singh.

“The devotees can enter into the temple without having Covid-19 negative report from 21 January. The decision will remain in force till 21 February,” the SJTA chief said.

Kumar said the SJTA has decided to relax the restriction which was imposed on temple entry for the general public.

The temple opened for public from 3 January after remaining closed for nine months in the wake of the pandemic.