SJTA’s decision on granting of Rath Yatra telecast rights today

Bhubaneswar: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) will take the final decision over auction of Rath Yatra live broadcasting rights today.

Close on the heels of the temple administration’s letter inviting reputed TV channels to bid for the live broadcast rights of the event, several Odia and Hindi channels on Monday participated in the bidding process for the telecast of the mega event. However, according to official sources, OTV has emerged as the highest bidder with Rs 54 lakh bid for securing the broadcast rights of the mega festival.

Informing in this connection, OTV Network DGM Shyama Prasad Mishra said that out of seven competitors, OTV is the highest bidder for the telecast rights.

Amid much hue and cry over the temple administration’s decision for auction of live telecast rights, a Puri-based lawyer Prasanna Kumar Das has filed a PIL filed in Orissa High Court urging the court to scrap the notification citing that auction of telecast rights is a violation of Shree Jagannath Temple Act, 1954.

On the other hand, a meeting of the temple management committee chaired by Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb will be held today. The timings of rituals from Deba Snana Purnima to Niladri Bije finalised by the temple administration are likely to be discussed for approval during the committee meeting. This apart, discussions on the telecast rights bidding decision could also be held during the occasion.

Ahead of the crucial meeting, senior servitor Binayak Das Mohapatra has slammed the SJTA for taking the telecast rights bidding decision unilaterally.

“The temple administration should not have taken such a decision which can adversely affect media companies working tirelessly for the promotion of Jagannath culture and tradition. When OTV clearly led the bidding, the temple administration should have taken a final decision yesterday itself but without doing that, it deferred the decision for today,” said  Das Mohapatra.

“We have decided to urge the Gajapati and also show our demands during the temple management committee meeting so that the telecast is allowed for everyone as it was carried out earlier,” Das Mohapatra added.

Meanwhile, with just a few weeks remaining for the world famous Rath Yatra in the pilgrim city, construction of chariots and other preparations for the mega event are in full swing.