Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 4:
In a bid to augment the corpus fund of Shree Jagannath Temple in the beach town Puri, the Odisha government today decided to put up Lords’ land for auction.
In the first phase, over 131 acres of property in Bhubaneswar and its outskirts belonging to the temple would go under the hammer.
The decision was taken at a high-level review meeting chaired by Odisha Chief Secretary Gokul Chandra Pati at the conference hall of state secretariat here today.
Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has been asked to send a proposal to state government for necessary amendments to the laws of 2003, sources said.
“SJTA aims to generate Rs 2000 crore from these transactions from land deals in the first two years. The land would be sold under the plotted scheme if the persons cultivating them do not buy them. There are around 1900 acres of temple land under Bhubaneswar Tehsil, Khurda and Jatni areas which have been illegally occupied. The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has been asked to free them from encumbrance and dispose of 131 acres of land in the first phase,” said SJTA chief administrator Suresh Mohapatra.
The chief secretary asked officials to identify the land, construct boundary walls around them and complete the process within two weeks, sources added.
Notably, the 12th century shrine has around 57,000 acres of land across the state.
Among others, Khurda Collector Niranjan Sahu, BDA vice chairman, IDCO CMD, and senior officials were present.