Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri/Bhubaneswar, Oct 23:
The rising price of dal has now starting affecting the Gods literally! The skyrocketing prices of dal have increased the prices of dal based dishes in the temple fare around the state. The most affected are the pilgrims to the Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri, which feeds thousands of devotees’ everyday. More so during this festive season.
Notably, Srimandir serves Mahaprasad, a bouquet of 56 items cooked for Lord Jagannath everyday in the holy shrine. This Sankudi mahaprasad includes items like rice, ghee rice, kichidi, and dishes like sweet dal, dalma, dal mixed with saag, mixed curries of different types, khatta, porridge etc. Every day this prasad after being offered to the Lord during the time of worship is sold to the devotees in Ananda Bazaar. Sri Jagannath mandir has the largest kitchen in the world.
Everyday thousands of devotees buy the Mahaprasad in the temple. With skyrocketing pulses prices touching nearly Rs 200 a kg, the dal based items prices have are almost doubled due to exorbitant prices of pulses.
People are finding it difficult to buy the temple fare and are buying reduced the portions of ‘abada’ or food cooked in the Srimandir.
Similarly, the prices at the most popular Ananta Vasudev Temple in Bhubaneswar have risen from Choto dalma plate cost rising from Rs 25 to Rs 30.
Cracking the whip against illegal hoarding of pulses, the Odisha government’s Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare department yesterday raided a pulses godown in Mancheswar area of the capital city.
Meanwhile, Odisha government on October 15th had wrote a letter to the Union government asking them to arrange for additional supply of pulses through MMTC (Metal and Mineral Trading Corporation).
Even though the government on September 12 announced that it had imported 2500 metric tonne of pulses through NAFED to stabilize the price in the state, it had clearly not been enough to rein in the price rise.
The Centre is also trying check the spiraling prices of pulses by take various steps including maintaining a buffer stock through imports and taking steps to stop black marketing and hoarding.