Bhubaneswar: A day after the Odisha Government approved a proposal for enactment of an ordinance to constitute a Managing Committee for the affairs of the Lingaraj Temple here, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today wrote to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking similar legislation for four more temples– Maa Biraja Temple in Jajpur, Maa Samaleswari Temple in Sambalpur, Maa Tara Tarini Temple in Ganjam, and Shri Nilamadhav Temple in Nayagarh.
“I would like to bring to your attention four more iconic temples in Odisha viz., Maa Biraja Temple in Jajpur, Maa Samaleswari Temple in Sambalpur, Maa Tara Tarini Temple in Ganjam, and Shri Nilamadhav Temple in Nayagarh which have immense religious and socio-cultural significance to the people of the State, for enacting similar legislation,” said Dharmendra in the letter.
“The above-mentioned temples situated in different corners of Odisha form an intangible resource of spiritual and devotional tourism, bringing not only millions of footfalls and associated revenue but also defining and manifesting in the essential day-to-day life of its citizens. Keeping in mind pertinent and long overdue need for bringing reforms in the governance and management of the four key temples in Odisha, I request your personal intervention in bringing these above-mentioned temples under legislative guidelines along the lines of Shri Jagannath Temple Act, 1955 and Shri Lingaraj Temple Ordinance, 2020 thereby appointing an empowered committee to manage the day-to-day affairs of the temples, better execution of sevas, puja, niti and associated rituals, upkeep, renovation upgradation and development of the temple structure, its premises and improvement of devotee facilities,” Pradhan mentioned in the letter.
Such legal provisions will not only bring a high standard of accountability to the management of the temples with necessary provision for budgeting, planning and audits etc. but also safeguard the long-term interest of the temples and pave the way of offering better facilities to visitors and devotees. These legislations for the above-mentioned temples shall also go a long way in further strengthening the religious-tourism prospects of the encompassing districts and lead to an increase in domestic and international tourist footfalls, added Dharmendra.