Bhubaneswar, Feb 15: Odisha Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra on Monday wrote to the Union Culture Secretary requesting for immediate withdrawal of heritage draft bye-laws issued by the National Monument Authority (NMA) for Ananta Basudev and Brahmeswar temples in Ekamra Kshetra, Bhubaneswar.
“While there was serious discontentment from Sevayats, devotees and people at large against NMA heritage bye-laws issued for Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri and Anant Basudev and Brahmeshwar Temple in Bhubaneswar, such bye-laws have been withdrawn for the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri. However, draft notification relating to the Ekamra Kshetra is still in force, causing distress to Sevayat community, people at large and devotees,” noted the Chief Secretary in the letter.
Mohapatra further mentioned that the Temple Trust Board and the Endowment Commissioner have written to the Member Secretary, NMA for immediate withdrawal of the draft notification relating to the Ekamra Kshetra. There have also been frequent agitations regarding the non-withdrawal of the draft notifications and there is serious apprehension that this will lead to widespread agitation and disturb the day to day religious rituals in the temples, he said.
He again noted that while sentiments of lakhs of devotees are bound to be hurt due to agitation, it is important to have a peaceful atmosphere and full cooperation of Sevayats on the occasion of Maha Shiva Ratri ritual to be held on March 11 in which lakhs of devotees from across the State will participate. “In view of these, the State Government strongly recommends immediate withdrawal of the draft heritage bye-laws relating to the Ekamra Kshetra Temples,” read the letter.
Mohapatra also suggested to the NMA to consult temple sevayats, temple administration and the State Government on sensitive temple matters.