Servitors of Puri Shree Jagannath temple to get homestead land
Each of the servitors of Puri Shree Jagannath temple will be given 600sqft of homestead land in the holy town and monetary assistance of Rs 2 lakh to construct their houses on the assigned plots.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the management committee of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Thursday. The meeting was chaired by the scion of the Puri royal family, Gajapati Dibya Singha Deb.
Briefing mediapersons about the decision, chief administrator of the 12th century temple Dr Krishan Kumar said: “In the first phase 400 servitor families will be accommodated in eight acres. Each family will be given Rs 2 lakh for constructing the house on a 600sqftplot. They can invest more for construction and expansion of their houses.”
The temple administration will invite applications from the servitors who are innately associated with the daily rituals of the deities. It has planned to give land to all the servitors associated with the rituals of the deities.
In order to give quality education to the children of the servitors, the SJTA has also decided to set up Shreemandir Gurukul. “A Shreemandira Adarsh Gurukul Society will be formed with the Gajapati Dibya Singha Deb as its chairman and eminent personalities as the members to run the gurukul,” Kumar said.
Officials said 17 acres have been identified at Matitola for setting up the gurukul. The state government will provide Rs 20 crore for this purpose. “The gurukul will start functioning from the 2022-23 academic year,” Kumar said.
The temple administration will also urge devotees to donate funds to Shreemandir Gurukul. Sources said the state government has also initiated the process of selling more than 60,000 acres belonging to the temple located in different parts of the country.
“We plan to enhance the corpus fund from the existing Rs 650 crore to Rs 1,000 crore by 2023 by selling land of the Lord and generating revenues from different sources. The temple administration has so far identified 60,426.943 acres belonging to the temple. Of this, 395.252 acres is located outside Odisha in other states,” officials said.
The wheels of the Rath Yatra chariots of the deities will be given free to devotees. “A sub-committee will decide to whom the wheels will be given,” officials said.
In another important development, the temple administration has decided to ask the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to formulate an integrated five-year plan for the repair and reconstruction work of the temple.
“Both the ASI and SJTA will work in this direction and if required the state will also bear the cost of the repair work in the temple,” Kumar said. The shrine is an ASI protected monument and the agency has been in charge of its conservation since 1975.
Meanwhile, the state government has decided to resume work on the Shree Jagannath Heritage Corridor project from September. The project aims at beautification around the shrine and intends to provide an unobstructed path around the wall of the temple.
A 75-metre corridor is being developed around the shrine. Though the deadline for completion of the work was earlier fixed February 2022, it is likely to be extended, sources said.