Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Sep 12:

Suggestions will be solicited from the general public to usher reforms in the management of Sri Mandir-the 12th century shrine in Odisha’s holy town Puri.

Sri Mandir

“Different individuals, institutions and organizations can give their suggestions in reference to this through affidavits and drop them in drop boxes kept at the office of the Collector in every district,” informed Justice B P Das head of the one-man judicial commission constituted by the state government to suggest reforms in the management Sri Jagannath Temple here today.

Justice Das made the statement after holding a meeting with Chief Administrator of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Secretary Law, Puri Collector, SP, Niti Prasashak and Unnayan Prasashak with regard to reforms in the management of Sri Mandir.

Besides, suggestions can be also made online at the Commission’s website or through e-mails, official sources said.

The Commission said a notification in with regard to the terms of reference for making suggestions will be notified very soon.

While sevayats (servitors) of Sri Mandir have welcomed the Commission, they have emphasized on their inclusion in the reforms as well as maintaining the traditions of the Sri Mandir.

“We will surely cooperate in all respects for the service of the Lord,” said Binayak Dasmohapatra, joint secretary of Daitapati Niyog.

It may be mentioned here that the state government’s decision to constitute the one-man judicial commission came after the matter reached a tipping point with the IAS officers’ body taking strong objection to the manhandling of Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal during the Niladri Bije rituals this year.

Invoking Sri Jagannath Temple (Administration) Act, 1952, the government said the judicial panel’s terms of reference (ToR) will include a review of security structure at the 12th century temple in view of threats posed from terror outfits.

Law and order system in and outside the premises will also be part of its scope apart from measures for conservation of the archaeological monuments as well as beautification.

While last year’s Nalabakalebara fiasco was still fresh in the memory of the millions of devotees, the delay in pahandi and violation of restrictions imposed during this year’s Rath Yatra prompted the government to bring management of the ‘niti’ by streamlining the seva systems and organising servitors involved in the age-old practices under the ambit of the commission.

The six-point ToR also includes measures required to facilitate darshan for the devotees in an orderly manner, system to make available ‘mahaprasad’, communication and affordable accommodation for pilgrims and vehicular parking as well.