SC order on Puri Srimandir reforms: SJTA to submit affidavit by August-end

Puri: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) will submit an affidavit by end of this month on steps taken after Supreme Court’s directives on Srimandir reforms.

The decision was taken during a meeting between SJTA officials and different servitor associations today.

According to sources, the meeting discussed how devotees can have smooth darshan of deities and get the Mahaprasad at right price. Moreover, the administration had a detailed discussion on donations, which the SC has asked not to collect directly from the devotees but rather through hundis (Donation Boxes).

The management of chullas at the temple’s Roshaghar (Kitchen), which came up for discussion, will be brought under the purview of the temple administration.

As the SC appointed amicus curiae will be visiting the temple this month, the SJTA asked temple servitors to apprise him about all the issues.

Out of 12 proposals suggested by the SC in its interim judgement, the meeting of the SJTA and nijogs took up only four for discussion today.

Earlier on June 8, the apex court had sought a report from the Puri District Judge on how to curb mismanagement and alleged exploitation of the devotees at the Srimandir.

SC on Srimandir Management Reforms: Chhatisa Nijog delegation meets Odisha CM

The Puri district judge had suggested a plethora of measures for the 12th century shrine from abolition of hereditary appointment of servitors, prohibition on collection of money for Annadan Atika by servitors, ban on placing thali and pitches to receive donation, provision of separate toilets for men and women, queuing system for hassle free darshan and surveillance of collection from Hundis and receptacles.

Some other reforms suggested include audit of temple funds by the Accountant General, handing over control of Roshaghar and Chullas to temple management, identity cards for servitors and staff, registration and identification of tourist guides in temple office, reduction in unwanted staff of temple administration, single authorisation for security management on temple premises and amendment of Sri Jagannath Temple Act 1954.