Appoint Full-Time Chief Administrator For Jagannath Temple, SC Tells Odisha Govt

New Delhi: The Supreme Court in its interim order on Monday directed the Odisha government to appoint a full-time chief administrator to oversee the management of the Jagannath Temple in Puri.

Ever since the state government carried out administrative reforms in early 2000, senior IAS officers have been holding the position of chief administrator, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) have usually been assigned other responsibilities as well. The current incumbent Krishan Kumar is also serving as Secretary, Works, and Chairman, Puri Konark Development Authority.

A division bench of Justice Arun Mishra passed around 22 directions on the basis of the report submitted by the amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar.

Among them are :-

1. The district administration should make provisions for the accommodation of 60,000 devotees and set up a waste disposal treatment plant in the Pilgrim Town.

2. The state government and the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) should jointly set up schools and colleges for the propagation of Jagannath culture.

3. The SJTA has been directed to set up a school for which the financial assistance of Rs 6.5 crore will be provided from the Supreme Court fund.

Talking to the media, state Advocate General Ashok Parija said the apex court also directed the SJTA to ensure timely conduct of all rituals of the Lords without the interference of the state government and the court and take necessary steps to stop anti-social activists, including misbehaviour to the women devotees.

“Besides, the state government has been asked to make an inventory of all the properties in the name of Lord Jagannath in Odisha and other states and file an affidavit mentioning the details about the income being generated from these properties,” he added.

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