Vikash Sharma

Puri: In a bid to ensure all-round sanitation inside Puri Srimandir, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has decided to impose a complete ban on paan and gutkha on the premises of the temple.

“No devotee or servitor can enter the temple chewing paan or gutkha. The new rule will come into force from August 1, 2019,” informed SJTA chief administrator Pradipta Mohapatra after the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee Meeting on Monday.

No only this, a fine up to Rs 500 will be imposed if anyone is found violating the ban, he said.

Mohapatra further informed that sign boards will be put up in and around the temple to create awareness among devotees, servitors as well as other officials of SJTA. There would be proper frisking near the entry gates to ensure that nobody is allowed to carry such banned substances inside the temple.

Meanwhile, senior officials informed that the report of temple audit was placed before the Temple Managing Committee. The meeting today reportedly discussed lapses during the Rath Yatra and ASI repair works being carried out in Srimandir.

As several minor irregularities were witnessed during the annual sojourn of Lord Jagannath, a committee has been formed to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

“Apart from streamlining things during Rath Yatra, our focus is now on reorganising day-to-day conduct of rituals of the deities at Srimandir for which a committee has been set up,” Mohapatra added.