Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Dec 21:
The servitors of Shri Jagannath temple in Puri have protested the proposal of the Odisha government to appoint a senior IPS officer in charge of the temple administration for the Nabakalebara festival scheduled next year.
According to reports, Energy secretary and officer on special duty (OSD) for the 2015 Nabakalebara festival Suresh Mohapatra had convened a meeting of the Chhatisha Nijog at the temple premises here on Saturday to discuss the smooth conduct of the Nabakelabara festival.
Mohapatra clarified that there was no such proposal when representatives of the Nijog protested the move during the meeting.
Raising the issue at the meeting, the Nijog representatives submitted a 19-point charter of demands to Mohapatra.
They alleged that the state government had taken no action to improve the financial condition of the temple servitors till date.
They also alleged that while the state government had been giving away the temple land to influential persons and for government programmes, it had not taken any steps to provide land to the servitors most of whom have no houses.
They demanded allotment of temple land inside the town premises for construction of houses for them and early disposal of the long-standing dispute over their land.
The servitors also alleged that the new traffic rules in the town have restricted entry of vehicles to their sahis.