Mrunal Manmay Dash

The rice collected by the Odisha government’s Arpan Rath will be used to prepare khichdi. However, it will be used only after verifying its quality by a Srimandir committee.

The rice verifying committee was formed following a meeting at Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) office on Friday night, informed Srimandir Managing Committee member Ananta Tiadi.

The committee has the president and secretaries of Suar and Mahasuar nijog. It will also has managing members as well.

If the rice is deemed fit then it will be used to make 30-50 handis of khichdi from the Monday and will be distributed among the devotees.

Sources said, former president of Suar Mahasuar nijog and the Srimandir Managing Committee member pressed in the meeting to verify quality of all the rice. He said the rice collected is from various sources and verifying only one or two packets won’t serve the purpose.

Similarly, senior servitor Binayak Dasmahapatra said, “There is a probability that the rice has been mixed with par-boiled rice and it will take a lot of time to verify all 12000 quintal rice of its quality. So as per my opinion, the donated rice should be sold in the market and the money should be used to make kotha bhog for the Mahaprabhu.”

However, the Additional Chief Administrator of SJTA, Samarth Verma denied to comment anything on this matter.

As per reports, around 12,000 quintals of rice were collected through Arpan Rath before the inauguration of the Srimandir Heritage Corridor project in Puri. However, instead of sending the collected rice to Puri, it was stored in different places across the State. But devotees expressed resentment over the development following which the collected rice was sent to Puri from January 24.

As per reports, the collected rice was first stored at Gundicha temple. Subsequently, around 5,000 quintals of rice have been sent to the Akshay Patra Foundation so far. However, the collected rice could not be stored there for a longer period of time due to pest infestation threat.

Following the development, there has been uncertainty over the use of 12,000 quintals of collected rice in the service of the Holy Trinity. Under such circumstances, several devotees of Lord Jagannath have alleged that the State government has duped them by playing with their emotions.

  • Reported by:
  • MADHUSUDAN MISHRA
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