BHUBANESWAR: To keep the sevayats (priests) of Puri Jagannath temple in good humour ahead of the Nabakalebara festival, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday announced a series of welfare measures for them and their family members.
The measures include establishment of a model public school at Puri in which children of the sevayats will be provided free education. About 10 acres of land has been identified at Motitota for setting up the school which will have courses on Vedic education besides the regular curriculum.
The decisions were taken at a high level meeting presided over by Naveen at the Secretariat here. The Chief Minister also reviewed progress of the implementation of infrastructure and other projects for the Nabakalebara.
Students of sevayat community will be provided scholarship ranging from `100 to `500 per month from Class I to Class X. For students pursuing technical education, `25,000 will be given as scholarship.
The Chief Minister announced after the meeting that the State Government has decided to provide insurance cover to 8900 members of 1930 sevayat families. The insurance cover will be up to `2 lakh for seven members of a family for which `60 lakh will be the annual premium.
Besides, Naveen also announced a special housing scheme for the sevayat community. “The Government will provide houses to landless and homesteadless sevayats for which five acres of land have been identified. The housing project will provide houses at low cost to sevayats coming under the above category,” he said.
Other decisions taken at the meeting include introduction and operation of battery-run environment-friendly cars for elderly people and persons with disability from the vehicle parking space to Jagannath temple at regular intervals.
Official sources said the Malatipatpur-Balukhand and Pipili-Konark roads will be completed by April while work of Puri-Satapada road will be over by March. Construction of all parking places will be completed by April.
It was decided that the entire area will be made defecation free during Nabakalebara festival and the district administration has been asked to identify free space for setting up temporary toilets.