PURI: Breaking his silence on the controversy over Sri Jagannath Temple heritage corridor project, Puri Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb on Monday said there is no threat to Srimandir and the 12th century shrine is safe. The Puri king said the heritage corridor project was discussed in the temple managing committee meeting and everyone suggested for early completion of the ongoing works. The Gajapati is also the chairperson of Sri Jagannath Temple managing committee.
Concept of the heritage corridor plan was approved by the temple managing committee and there should not be any disturbance in implementation of the project. “Jagannath culture does not belong to any person, government or individual. Work of Mahaprabhu is every devotee’s responsibility. Any attempt to stall the work by staging demonstration is undesirable,” he said.
The King appealed to the State and Central governments to work together for the cause of ‘Mahaprabhu’. If any difficulty arises during execution of the project, it should be sorted out amicably at the earliest, he said. “The project is being executed to provide security to the shrine, more amenities for devotees and beautification of the temple complex. It is essential to develop the project to establish the glory of Lord Jagannath globally,” said the Gajapati who is the foremost servitor of Srimandir.
Earlier, representatives of sevayats had thrown their weight behind the heritage corridor project. Recently, a large number of cultural bodies, religious institutions and eminent personalities have come out in support of the ongoing project after BJP’s Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi announced to take out a padayatra on April 27 to protest the alleged illegal construction within the 75 metre heritage corridor being developed around the Meghanad Prachir of Srimandir.
In a letter to the Puri Collector, president of State Pujya Puja Sansad Krushna Chandra Jagadev welcomed the project stating that it will establish Srimandir as an international heritage site. “Politicisation of Lord Jagannath by some individuals is not good. The project should be completed in time in adherence to the guidelines of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),” Jagadev said in the letter. A number of memorandums have been submitted to the Collector demanding an end to the protests and completion of the project at the earliest.
Rs 248.51 crore budget approved
Puri: The Sri Jagannath Temple managing committee approved an annual budget of Rs 248.51 crore for 2022-23 fiscal on Monday. Srimandir will raise revenue from earnings from State grants and sale proceeds of temple endowment, interest on corpus fund, compensation from temple land and interest from Hundi fund.
The expenditure will be on organising festivals, wages of servitors, salary of staff, establishment cost, welfare programmes of servitors’ families and establishment of a Gurukul school. The managing committee held discussion on execution of the MoU with Bhumiputra Foundation to establish a Gurukul system of school dedicated for children of servitors.
This apart, housing projects for servitors were also discussed. Puri Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb presided over the meeting while chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Vir Vikram Yadav presented the budget proposal. Puri Collector Samarth Verma, SP K Vishal Singh and representatives of servitors were present. The budget will be sent to the State government for approval.