Vikash Sharma

After devotees, now servitors and officials cannot carry mobile phones inside Puri Jagannath temple. The decision to ban smart mobile phones inside the 12th century shrine was taken at the crucial meeting of the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee (SJTA) meeting held on Thursday.

As per the decision, the ban on mobile phones for servitors and other officials will come into effect from January 1, 2023.

Senior SJTA officials informed that two dedicated counters will be set up near the Singhadwar and the Southern gate where the servitors and other officials can deposit their mobile phones before entering the Jagannath temple. Apart from the ban on mobile phones, several other issues and proposals were approved at the crucial Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee which was chaired by Puri Gajapati Maharaj Dibyasingha Deb.

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A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with Birla Foundation for the proposed 'Adarsh Gurukul', a model school in Puri for the children of the servitors of Sri Jagannath temple.

SJTA chief administrator Vir Vikram Yadav informed that already plantations in 3600 hectares out of 4,000 hectares have been undertaken under the Shree Jagannath Bana Prakalp.

“Around 32 acres of land will be given to the society for the Gurukul project. The members will visit the spot to access the Shree Jaganath Bana Project. We will request the forest department to carry out plantation on 1600 acres of forest land in the name of Lord Jagannath to meet the requirement of required timber,” said Yadav.

According to Yadav, tenders will be invited for carrying out necessary repair works at Gundicha temple and the works are likely to completed by the month of April next year.

(Reported by Madhusudan Mishra)