Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 19:
The Law department’s replies to queries of MLAs in the Odisha Assembly on the expenses incurred for Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebara festival has exposed the loot in the name of Nabakalebara.
Shockingly, there is no semblance in the project-wise expenditure figures provided in the replies to the members by the department. It has exposed the way Lord Jagannath’s funds have been looted.
The government has provided a list of 64 projects undertaken for the Nabakalebara Yatra. Interestingly, fixing of marble on the floor of the Mukti Mandap at Sri Gundicha temple has been listed twice.
Rupees in lakhs have been spent on a number of projects for the repair of the Sri Gundicha Ghar. Facts provided to different MLAs vary widely. In some cases, expenditures have been incurred in the name of special projects, while in some others it has been cited as project-wise expenditure.
Astonishingly, over Rs one crore has been spent on Koili Baikuntha (the graveyard of the Lords) alone. Rs 10.83 lakh has been spent for construction of a store-room at Koili Baikuntha.
Rs 3.80 lakh has been spent for construction of godown at Koili Baikuntha.
This apart, around Rs 9 lakh has been spent on construction of a shed for Daitapatis, Rs 1.54 lakh for construction of a drain, Rs 8.5 lakh for fixing of khondalite stone, Rs 2.35 lakh on repairing of Koili Baikuntha entrance and Rs 3.80 lakh on construction of left side road.
It is beyond comprehension how an amount of Rs 90.63 lakh was spent for renovation of Koili Baikuntha and Nilachal Upabana (garden of the Lords) apart from the above mentioned expenses.
Similarly, funds were allocated for repair of bhoga mandap and jagamohana of Sri Gundicha temple. Rs 5.21 lakh was spent on repair of rosha ghar, Rs 1.75 lakh for repair of kotha rosha ghar, Rs 2.20 crore for construction of a godown, Rs 20 lakh for repair of tunia mahal and Rs 6 lakh towards providing chemical coat. Again Rs 39.99 lakh has been spent towards maintenance.
Besides, Rs 13 lakh has been spent for special repairs and construction of mandap and Rs 4.08 lakh for conservation of the temple.
The government has stated that Rs 6 lakh was spent for construction of temporary shed near sata pahacha on the ghata parivartan day.
Similarly, for construction of shed for Suara Mahasuara Nijog Rs 4.60 lakh was spent and Rs 40 lakh was spent for fixing of stainless steel beam for conservation of Shree Mandir.
The government has stated that it has spent crores of rupees on Sri Mandir apart from Koili Baikuntha and Sri Gundicha temple. Shop for selling wicker lamps (diyas) has been constructed at a cost of Rs 20 lakh, Rs 44 lakh has been spent in Anandabazaar. Besides, Rs 25 lakh has been spent on laying tiles, painting and electrification in Anandabazaar, the government has stated.
Watch towers were constructed on four sides of the Sri Mandir earlier at an expense of Rs 16 lakh. These watch towers were not being used as these had defects. Rs 14.15 lakh has been spent for making minor modifications and painting of these towers. The government has cited expenditure incurred for electrification of gumuta, kurumbedha, Nilachal upabana etc. Apart from this, Rs 11 lakh has been spent for electrification at different locations in the Sri Mandir.
The department has cited that an amount of Rs 1.40 crore will be spent on construction of Nabakalebar complex, which is underway.