Chhattisgarh governor worried over Srimandir pilgrims’ plight
While people are made to stand for 5-6 hours in scorching sun and rain, there is no arrangement for them. It is the responsibility of the administration to take care of old age persons, the guv said.
BHUBANESWAR: CHHATTISGARH Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan has expressed concern over the long waiting hours for devotees to have darshan at the Puri Srimandir and the alleged negligence of the temple administration in addressing the issue.
Harichandan drew attention of the temple management committee and the state government to the plight of the pilgrims and devotees through a signed article published in a vernacular daily.
On a visit to the state to attend the birth anniversary programme of Dr Harekrushna Mahatab, Harichandan told mediapersons on Monday that it was very painful to see devotees standing for long hours in queues to have darshan of Lord Jagannath.
“During a recent visit to Puri, I found a long queue from Market Square to the temple where even the elderly persons and children were forced to stand for hours. Many of them have come from different parts of the country and abroad to offer their prayers. Have we ever imagined the hardships and pain they suffer while standing in queues for long hours,” he remarked.
While people are made to stand for 5-6 hours in scorching sun and rain, there is no arrangement for them. It is the responsibility of the administration to take care of old age persons, he said.
“I am not blaming anyone. The temple administration, the state government and servitors should discuss the issue which is not new and find out solutions to the problems faced by the pilgrims visiting Puri for a darshan of the lord,” the Chhattisgarh governor said.
Lending his support to the demand for opening of the four gates of Srimandir, Harichandan said there should not be any barrier between the devotees and Lord Jagannath. Since the devotees have the right for a free darshan, all the four gates should be kept open for their smooth entry into the temple. If one door of the temple is kept closed for the temple parikrama project, the other three gates should be opened so that the devotees do not have to wait for long hours, he added.
Stating that no problem is so big that it could not be resolved, Harichandan, a former Law minister in the Naveen Patnaik government, said it is equally painful to see that many times the presiding deities of Srimandir are kept hungry following deliberate disruption of daily rituals over some demands of the servitors, he said.