Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will carry out laser scanning of Ratna Bhandar of Shree Jagannath temple at Puri this month to ascertain its structural stability. However, Odisha BJP has slammed the State government over the decision.

As per BJP, it’s a planned conspiracy to go for the laser scanning of the Ratna Bhandar instead of opening it.

“It’s the complete responsibility of the State government to open Ratna Bhandar. Gajapati Maharaja only has the power to recommend it to the Managing Committee. Lord Jagannath is the deity of the public,” said senior BJP leader Samir Mohanty.

“When the government took the power from Gajapati Maharaja by forming a special law in 1952 for managing Srimandir, the onus is now on the government to take the decision. The Srimandir managing committee has recommended the State government in this regard on August 4. Then why the government is not executing the order of the High Court and recommendation of Gajapati Maharaja?” asked senior BJP leader Samir Mohanty.

BJP has also issued a warning to file a contempt of court petition if a committee is not constituted immediately as per the order of the High Court. The saffron party has further demanded the opening of Ratna Bhandar before inauguration of Srimandir Parikrama project.

“As the government is not taking any decision to open Ratna Bhandar, perception is growing among the people that it has become empty,” Mohanty added.

However, no reaction from the State government could be obtained in this regard.