Odisha govt to notify Ratna Bhandar opening date shortly, says Prithviraj Harichandan

Meanwhile, Gajapati Maharaj of Puri Dibyasingha Deb welcomed the measures being taken by the government to open the Ratna Bhandar and said its conservation and inventory are the need of the hour.
Odisha Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan
Odisha Law Minister Prithviraj HarichandanPhoto | Express

BHUBANESWAR: AMID growing speculation over opening of the Ratna Bhandar of Shree Jagannath temple in Puri, Law Minister Prithviraj Harichandan on Wednesday informed that a decision will be taken shortly and the state government will make an official announcement on it.

Speaking to mediapersons, he said the issue of opening of the treasury has been discussed at various levels. “The decision will be taken within the next two days. But the process of opening the treasury, modalities and duration of the inventory will be informed by the state government to the people of Odisha through an official notification. Till then, do not believe rumours doing rounds on social media,” he said.

The speculation rose following reports of Justice Arijit Pasayat’s visit to Odisha on July 4 for inventory work. Justice Pasayat heads the high-level committee formed by the previous government on the direction of Orissa High Court to supervise the inventory of the Ratna Bhandar.

According to the official schedule, he will attend a meeting of Ratna Bhandar inventorisation committee on July 5 and take up related work from July 8 to 27.

Meanwhile, Gajapati Maharaj of Puri Dibyasingha Deb welcomed the measures being taken by the government to open the Ratna Bhandar and said its conservation and inventory are the need of the hour.

“The Bhitara Bhandar (inner chamber of the treasury) has remained closed for 45 years. Opening it has been a long-pending demand and was raised in many of the managing committee meetings,” he said.

Stating that the Bhitara Bhandar is in a poor shape as per the ASI reports, the Gajapati said the government’s efforts to open it for both conservation and inventory is a welcome step. “It is learnt that the high-level committee formed in March for the purpose will be meeting on July 5. Utmost care should be taken to do the work in a safe way,” he said.

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