14 September 2019
Bhubaneswar: The State Government is pondering upon to bring into effect a new act for Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar in line with that of Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri.
Minister for Social Security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) Ashok Panda on Saturday said that he has been demanding to enact the new law and a meeting in this regard had been held under the then Law Minister Arun Sahoo on September 24, 2014.
It had been decided that steps will be taken to pass the new act in accordance with the Shri Jagannath Temple Act. A proposal in this regard will be sent by the Lingaraj Temple trust board to the Law department through the Endowment Commission to form a committee of experts to suggest on the proposed Act.
If needed steps will be taken to get Cabinet approval for enactment of the new act, said Panda while stating that excluding Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri all the temples in the State come under the purview of Odisha Hindu Religious Endowments Act.
Panda also informed that decision has also been taken for preservation of Lingaraj Temple and beautification of the surrounding premises. While the temple is well connected by roads and is surrounded by a market complex, the Tourism Department has sanctioned Rs 8.5 crore for development of the surroundings and if needed, eviction drive will be carried out for the same.
A meeting over the issue had also been chaired by incumbent Law Minister Pratap Jena at the Lok Seva Bhawan on September 4. In the meeting, Panda had proposed to restructure the trust board of the Lingaraj Temple and bring in new Act for the shrine built few years ago before the Jagannath Temple.