Home >Industry >Media >Airtel Xstream to live stream Puri’s Rath Yatra from 1 July

Bharti Airtel-owned digital content and streaming app, Xstream will live stream the traditional Rath Yatra at Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri from 1 July, allowing all mobile and broadband customers of the telecom operator to watch the proceedings for free, the company said in a statement.

This comes after the Supreme Court (SC), last week, had barred common public from attending the event owing to social distancing norms to be followed to contain the spread of coronavirus. The apex court had also directed the Odisha government to make necessary arrangements to ensure the safety of those pulling the chariot in the procession.

Bharti Airtel, in partnership with Shemaroo, will bring the main event of “this year’s Rath Yatra to devotees on their smartphones," Airtel said in the statement. The Xstream app will be available to all Airtel customers for free on Google Play Store and App Store.

“Airtel Xstream app will be live streaming Rath Yatra 2020 from Puri enabling users to catch the proceedings on their smartphones or tablets, wherever they are. The live stream will be available on an exclusive channel on the home page of the app. Users can also rewind and replay the live stream as per their convenience," Bharti Airtel said.

At the Supreme Court, the entral government had said Rath Yatra can be permitted without public participation in view of the pandemic, saying the ‘tradition of centuries may not be stopped’. The Odisha government supported the Centre’s stand.

In its order, the top court took on record the statements of the Odisha state and Gajapati Maharaj of Puri, chairman of the Puri Jagannath Temple Administration, that it might be possible to conduct the Rath Yatra ‘in a limited way without public attendance’.

The court observed that in ‘the 18th-19th century, a yatra of this kind was responsible for the spread of cholera and plague like wild fire’. However, the court said it will not ‘micro-manage’ the rituals and left it to the wisdom of the state, the Centre and the temple management.

The court ordered that all entry points to the city of Puri shall be closed during the festival. There will be a curfew in Puri on all days and all the time when the chariots are taken in procession. The state must also keep records of participants in the Rath Yatra along with details of their medical conditions after testing.

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