JEYPORE: Devotees across Odisha and the neighbouring States flocking Gupteswar, the famous abode of Lord Shiva, on Sravana Mondays, have complained of lack of basic amenities at the shrine. A Bol Bom devotee allegedly died of heart choke near the shrine a few days back due to non-availability of first-aid.
Sources said over 30,000 devotees usually gather at the caved temple of Gupteswar every Monday during the holy month of Sravana and this year, the number has reached 40,000 on the day.
However, the district administration has not made any preparation to facilitate basic amenities for devotees in the temple. Absence of drinking water, electricity and medical facilities at the shrine is adding to the pain of the arduous journey undertaken by the ‘Kanwariyas’.
Though NGOs and social activists have made some arrangements for devotees on way to Gupteswar, the temple area lacks minimum basic amenities.
Moreover, the administration has not put in place security arrangements for devotees despite Maoist presence in the area. No measures are in place to ensure safety of women devotees in the temple area, sources said.
Official sources said the district administration holds a special meeting on the occasion of Shivarati where the block development officer and Tehsildar of Boipariguda are entrusted with looking after the affairs of Gupteswar temple. However, the authorities concerned have been skipping their duties.
On Sunday, several citizen forums of Koraput district highlighted the problems of devotees in Gupteswar temple and demanded immediate intervention of the Collector and SP into the matter.
2 Bol Bom devotees drown
Puri: Two Bol Bom devotees drowned in separate incidents here on Sunday. One Sanjit Dalei (28) of Balikuda Talua village of Balichandrapur in Jajpur district drowned while taking holy dip in Puri sea. In a separate incident, one Amit Kumar Rath of Berhampur was swept away in Bhargavi river at Chandanpur and is missing. Efforts are on to trace Amit.