‘Stop felling trees for making chariots for Puri Rath Yatra’

Vedic Science Research Centre members feel Fani has given a chance to people and leaders of Odisha to rethink about the tradition of cutting down trees every year to construct new chariots for the Rath Yatra

Updated - May 16, 2019 10:18 pm IST

Published - May 16, 2019 10:17 pm IST - Berhampur

Devotees and police personnel pull chariots of Jagannath temple deities to set it in front of the temple on the eve of Lord Jagannath's annual Rath Yatra festival at Puri, Odisha. File

Devotees and police personnel pull chariots of Jagannath temple deities to set it in front of the temple on the eve of Lord Jagannath's annual Rath Yatra festival at Puri, Odisha. File

Considering the huge destruction of trees due to Fani cyclone, the Vedic Science Research Centre (VSRC), Odisha, wants Puri’s Sri Jagannath temple administration and the Odisha government to stop the cutting of a large number of trees in future for the construction of new chariots for the annual Rath Yatra.

An organisation of ethno-biologists, VSRC studies biological and environmental consciousness in ancient India and its scriptures.

“While lakhs of mature trees have fallen due to the cyclone in Puri, as in the past, timber of large trees is being used for construction of three new chariots for the upcoming Rath Yatra in July. This is giving a wrong message to the masses that trees can be felled indiscriminately,” said its senior ethno-biologist Sachidananda Padhi.

Though it is claimed that every year saplings are being planted to be used as timber for future chariots, the real loss to environment because of their cutting can never be recovered, said Santosh Dash of the VSRC.

Its members feel Fani has given a chance to people and leaders of Odisha to rethink about the tradition of cutting down trees every year to construct new chariots for the Rath Yatra.

Consider this. Every year around a whopping 15,000 cubic feet of timber is used to construct three new chariots in Puri, say researchers.

This tradition demeans the value of trees in the minds of common mass, who fail to understand that trees take years to grow and mature and they are saviours of life on earth, feels the VSRC.

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