PURI: A 21-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Culture, Tourism and Transport led by TG Venkatesh on Thursday visited the Sri Jagannath Temple and had darshan of the holy Trinity. They also interacted with shrine officials and learnt about basic services, security and facilities provided to devotees.
Sambhaji Rao Chhatrapati, a member of the committee said, there are issues with regards to Sun Temple, Konark and Sri Jagannath Temple over development. “These issues need to be sorted out. I will discuss these with top officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),” he told mediapersons.
He advocated that government should provide basic minimum services during devotees’ visit to the shrine. Another member Ram Das Tadas said both Centre and State should work together to develop facilities for devotees at Sri Jagannath Temple.
Many important shrines of the country have been developed and heritage corridor for Srimandir should be put in place and for that both the central and state governments should work in concert, he opined. “I had visited the shrine in 2015. A lot of good work has been done since then,” he added.
Many members along with ASI Additional DG Dr Alok Tripathy and Superintending Archaeologist of ASI Arun Malik went round the Srimandir and saw the heritage corridor work and project designs. The Additional DG declined to comment on the controversy surrounding the Srimandir Parikrama project on the ground that a case on the issue is pending in the Orissa High court.
The ASI is to assess impact of construction activities on the Srimandir. This apart, impact assessment is to be done in some other temples adhering to the provisions prescribed in ASI norms for conservation and preservation of ancient monuments, he said.
Since the issue is pending before the High Court he refused to comment further. The HC decision will be implemented by all departments concerned, Dr Tripathy said. Collector Samarth Verma and temple officials conducted the temple visit programme of the panel.