Revenue Divisional Commissioner (south), Bikash Mohapatra has imposed a ban on use of plastic and polythene materials at Tara Tarini shrine, situated on a hilltop, about 40 kms from the city. Mohapatra, who is also the Chairman of Tara Tarini Development Board (TTDB), said the ban was inevitable to make the shrine eco-friendly. As such various festivals are celebrated at the shrine, but the prime festival is Chaitra Yatra.
During the festival, thousands of devotees congregate at the shrine on each Tuesday of Chaitra month of Odia calendar to worship the presiding deity of Ganjam. Presiding the preparatory meeting held recently, the RDC chalked out detailed programme for the festival to start from April 2.
Adequate measures have been planned for the smooth visit of the devotees to the hilltop where one can go by climbing 999 steps or using a road meant for vehicles.
As lakhs of devotees get their kids tonsured at the shrine during the festival, the TTDB earns good revenue. The hair collected from the shrine is auctioned every year and exported to the US, UK, France, Germany and Hong Kong after processing to be used in preparing wigs.
This year, the TTDB is expected to earn around ` 3.88 lakh by selling hair offered to the Goddess. In the auction held for the hair, more than 15 groups participated and a group of Andhra Pradesh was awarded the auction for highest bidding, said Pramod Panda, secretary, TTDB.