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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Taking cognizance of reports on irregularities and mismanagement at the Lingaraj Temple in Capital, Odisha government is contemplating to bring a new law for better management of the 11th-century shrine in line with the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri.

A decision regarding the new new law believed to be crucial in the protection and preservation of Lingaraj was taken at a high-level meeting held at Lok Seva Bhawan here today.

The meeting was convened to discuss disruption and irregularities in rituals of the deity and reports of controversy and illegal encroachments on the property of the temple.

Experts believe that issues pertaining to irregularities in management of the temple, regular conduct of rituals and protection of temple property can be done in a more efficient manner if a new Act is enacted in this regard.

“The controversy arising out of dispute between different sects of servitors can be resolved and at the time the property of the Lord can be recovered,” advocate Manas Mohapatra said.

Recently, the rituals at the temple were disrupted for about one-and-a-half-days owing to a dispute between two sects of servitors over ownership and construction on a piece of land.

Bhubaneswar Ekamra MLA Ashok Panda said that all the illegal encroachments will be cleared and efforts will be initiated towards for all round beautification of the temple. “A decision has been taken to introduce a new Act for Lingaraj temple in line with Puri Srimandir,” said Panda.

Meanwhile, servitors and other traders around the vicinity of the Lingaraj temple have welcomed such decision of the State government. However, they advocated for proper rehabilitation before enforcement of any law.

“There will be opposition but we hope that State government should take into consideration all aspects before taking decision,” said Biranchi Narayan Pati, secretary Brahman Nijog.

“We want government should also consider our livelihood before taking any decision on eviction,” said a trader.

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