Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government will finalize the draft architectural plan of Shree Jagannath Heritage Corridor Project tentatively by the first week of April.
A decision to this effect was taken at the first preparatory meeting presided over by Puri Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb here on Tuesday.
Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Krishan Kumar said the blueprint of this ambitious project will be finalized either by the last week of March or the first week of April.
Stating that the temple administration had received feedback from people about the project plan through e-mail, he said that the focus will be on four aspects.
“We will go for a micro planning for the smooth movement of people from one sahi (lane) to other near the temple periphery. Secondly, there will be no change in the tradition of Rath Jatra. Besides, construction of the chariots will be held as usual at the Ratha Khala on the Grand Road near the temple,” Kumar said.
Similar to Chandan Jatra of the Lords, the temple administration will also give priority to Bahara Jatra (festival of the temple deities outside the temple premises). Besides, special attention will be given to ensure that each devotee washes his/her hands and legs before entering the temple premises, he said.
The chief administrator said that a special place will be identified inside the temple premises for sankirtan (group prayer) and performing rituals as proposed by the Gajapati Maharaja. “This apart, a space inside the temple will be earmarked where about 4000-5000 devotees can partake the Mahaprasad,” he pointed out.
Regarding the beautification work being undertaken on the temple periphery, he said that the temple administration will take steps to showcase Odishan art and culture as suggested by eminent sculptor and Rajya Sabha member Padma Vibhushan Raghunath Mohapatra.
The Gajapati Maharaja said that efforts will be made to disseminate the pristine heritage, culture and tradition of the Shrikshetra (Puri) across the country and the globe.
Among others, members of the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee, senior servitors Rama Chandra Dasmohapatra, Madhab Chandra Pujapanda and Madhab Chandra Mohapatra, Rajya Sabha member Padmabhusan Raghunath Mohapatra, senior officials of the Works Department, Puri collector Balwant Singh and senior district officials were present at the meeting.