Ramakanta Biswas

In yet another case of how a common man suffers due to the all-pervading VIP culture, a large  number of differently-abled and elderly devotees were reportedly deprived of darshan of Lord Jagannath inside Puri temple after the e-vehicles meant for them were used for ferrying a group IAS probationers.

A total of 180 IAS probationers from Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie visited Puri Srimandir on Sunday. 

As per sources, the battery-operated vehicles providing transportation to differently-abled and senior citizens ferried the probationary officers. Consequently, scores of divyang and elderly devotees who came from various districts could not reach Srimandir and returned home without having darshan of the sibling deities.

Some locals alleged that battery-operated vehicle service for the divyang and elderly persons remained suspended throughout the day.  

“The vehicles were decorated with white cloth. Certainly, the arrangements were for VIP movement. I saw such a vehicle returning from Singhadwar in the evening,” said a resident.

On the other hand, NALCO authorities claimed that the battery-operated vehicles were available for the beneficiaries on the day of the visit of the young bureaucrats. 

Debdutta Biswaranjan, supervisor, Nalco said, “We have been providing service here for the past four years. Yesterday, five vehicles were engaged for the IAS probationary officers while remaining four were available for providing service to divyang and elderly devotees.”

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