Vikash Sharma

Puri: Amidst the ongoing furore over demolition of religious institutions around Puri Srimandir, a sub-committee will be formed for the development and revival of mutts in the pilgrim town.

“In Jagannath culture and management of Srimandir, mutts act as a complimentary link. Hence, in order to preserve the link and tradition, a mutt development sub-committee will be formed to coordinate with all stakeholders,” informed Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator, Krishan Kumar after a meeting of the temple managing committee today

Kumar further informed that several proposals were discussed at the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee. As per discussions, Odisha government will be approached for fast demarcation of Chariot path or 'Ratha Danda' as Heritage Corridor, peripheral area development of Jagannath Temple as per Kalinga architecture, development of a park at Jagannath Ballav mutt and development of Gundicha temple.

During the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee meeting chaired by Puri Gajapati Maharaj, discussions were also held on identification and disposal of land owned by Lord Jagannath through e-auction under the uniform policy.

"Adarsh Gurukul will be setup for Sevayats in nearly 10 to 12 acres of land and the design will be placed in the next meeting of the managing committee. The scholarship scheme for the servitors' children will be revised so that they can avail it for higher education,” Kumar added.

Moreover, concerns were also expressed as Rath Yatra is being observed in several parts of the country and world in deviation from the traditional rituals that are followed at Puri Srimandir.

Responding to the ongoing demolition being carried out near Puri Srimandir, Secretary of Daitapati Nijog, Durga Charan Dasmohapatra stated that eviction should be carried out based on consensus among stakeholders. The State government should rehabilitate servitors at mutts which have not been declared unsafe.

“As the houses of sevayats, who are associated with the conduct of daily rituals at Puri Srimandir, are located close to the temple, they will not be able to discharge their duties if they are rehabilitated away from the temple. We urge the government to take into consideration all these factors,” said Dasmohapatra.