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Angry Odisha CM asks 4 ministers to camp in Puri, ensure hassle-free Nabakalebara


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 22:

After receiving flak from all quarters over the gross mismanagement of the Brahma parivartan ritual of the four presiding deities of Shree Jagannath temple at Puri, Odisha Chief Minister today sought to put the house in order by asking four ministers to camp at Puri and make sure that there are no further goof-ups in the run up to the Rath Yatra in the Nabakalebara year.

Naveen Patnaik
Naveen Patnaik

After remaining mum for nearly a week, the Chief Minister today called four ministers – Law Minister Arun Sahu, Housing and Urban Development Minister Puspendra Singhdeo, Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das and Health and Family Welfare Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak – to his third floor chamber at the state secretariat here and asked them to monitor the progress of all works associated with their respective departments for the smooth conduct of the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra.

The four ministers have been asked by the Chief Minister to camp at Puri from tomorrow and monitor the progress of work associated with their respective departments and all arrangements to  ensure a smooth Rath Yatra of the Lords since all eyes are now on Puri.

Sources close to the development said Patnaik expressed severe resentment over the mismanagement of the Brahma parivartan of the Lords. The Law Minister whose department handles the management of the Shree Jagannath Temple affairs was taken to task by the Chief Minister.

However, reliable sources said that presently no action is being contemplated against Law Minister Arun Sahu, putting at rest rumours that the Law Minister may lose his job.

Soon after the dressing down by the Chief Minister, Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das, Law  minister Arun Sahu and chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administraion (SJTA) Suresh  Mohapatra were closeted in the former’s chamber discussing ways to prevent any further hiccups in the Nabakalebara festival.

The Ministers will be camping at Puri from tomorrow and will oversee completion of all infrastructure projects associated with Nabakalebara by the June 30 deadline as was decided earlier, sources said.

Chief secretary G C Pati too had paid a visit to Puri yesterday to see the progress of infrastructural work for the grand event.

Sources said only one out of the three substations planned for providing uninterrupted power to Puri during the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra has been commissioned so far. Moreover, drains and other associated works remain to be completed.