Suryakant Jena

Puri: With the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration all set to implement several reforms at the Puri Srimandir, as suggested by the Supreme Court, devotees will now have to stand in a queue for darshan of the deities from October 1.

Temple sources said that plans have been made for smooth darshan of the deities with entry of devotees to be allowed only through Singha Dwara (Lion’s Gate) of the temple while after having darshan, devotees will have to exit the temple through the other three gates of the temple.

The move comes following a unanimous decision at the recently-held temple management committee meeting to discuss implementation of the apex court’s suggestions.

Meanwhile, the move for introduction of the new system of darshan has received criticism from several sections.

Devotees, servitors and intellectuals have shown displeasure over the move.

Locals residents who take darshan of the deities on daily basis, especially those from Harachandi sahi, Bali sahi, Markendeswar sahi, Lokanath road, Mangala ghat, Baliapanda, Baseli sahi and other areas in and around the temple and are very much attached with each and every ritual of the temple are worried that they would not be able to go to the temple often.

Protesting the move, activists of Jagannath Sena on Friday took to street and demanded repeal of the decision. Hundreds of activists of the outfit burnt poster of Law Minister Pratap Jena while staging dharna in front of the temple.

"The decision of the temple administration is not at all a good step. I prepare flower garlands for the Badasinghar Besha of the deities daily but if the new system is introduced, it will be difficult for me to do that," lamented a 72-year-old devotee, Nirupama Mishra.

The new system will hurt the sentiments of local people, said senior servitor Professor Soumyendra Muduli.

If the new system is introduced for devotees, VIPs like Chief Minister, MLAs, secretaries, judges and their families should also be brought under its ambit.

- Priyadarshan Pattnaik, Convenor, Jagannath Sena