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State Asks NMA Bye Laws Withdrawal

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has urged the Center to immediately withdraw the Draft Heritage Bye Laws issued by National Monument Authority (NMA) relating to Shree Ananta Basudev and Shree Brahmeswar Temples of Ekamra Kshetra.

Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, Chief Secretary has written to Raghavendra Singh, Secretary Ministry of Culture in this regard, said sources.

NMA had published Draft Notification of Heritage Bye Laws for Shree Jagannath Temple Puri, Shree Anant Basudev and Shree Brahmeswar Temples of Ekamra Kshetra, Bhubaneswar.

Chief Secretary Mr.Mahapatra pointed out that there is serious discontentment from Sevayats, Devotees, People at large and People’s Representatives against this publication as these temples host living deities and the publication was done without any consultation with stake holders.

In view of this, the heritage Bye Laws relating to Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri have been withdrawn by NMA, pointed out the Chief Secretary, adding however, the Draft Notification relating to Ekamra Kshetra temples are still in force causing distress to the Sevayat Community, people at large and devotees.

The Temple Trust Board and endowment Commissioner have written to the Member Secretary, NMA for immediate withdrawal of the Draft Notification relating to Ekamra Kshetra.

There have been frequent agitations regarding the non-withdrawal of these 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.

This kind of atmosphere in temples is bound to hurt the religious sentiments of lakhs of devotees.

The largest congregation of devotees in Ekamra Kshetra will happen on 11 March on the occasion of Maha Shiva Ratri Festival, said Mr.Mahapatra.

It is important to have a peaceful atmosphere and full cooperation of Sevayats for conducting this Annual Maha Shivarati Festival in which lakhs of devotees from all over the State participate, said Mr.Mahapatra.

In view of the same, the State Government strongly recommends immediate withdrawal of the Draft Heritage Bye Laws relating to the aforesaid temples.

State Government has also suggested that NMA may have a stakeholder consultation including Sevayats, Temple Administration and the State Government, on these sensitive temple matters where the living deity and rituals are interlinked.

Chief Secretary Mr.Mahapatra has assured that the State Government is committed for constructive cooperation in this regard.