Puri: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) today clarified on the issue related to selling of 35,000 acres land belonging to Lord Jagannath in Odisha.
The Chief Administrator of SJTA, Krishan Kumar, termed the report on sale of Jagannath land on massive scale as ‘false’ and ‘motivated’.
“That 35,000 acres of Land Shree Jagannath Mahaprabhu will be sold, is totally false and motivated,” the SJTA stated in its clarification.
Speaking on the issue, the SJTA said that the Jagannath lands, which are occupied or under possession of various persons since long, are being settled by the Temple Committee as per the ‘Unified Policy’, framed for the purpose in the year 2003 with an objective of protection of land of Lord Jagannath. The policy also aims to bring transparency and uniformity in the process to be followed for settlement of land to the eligible persons.
Total 291 acres of land was settled between 2001 and 2010, 96 acres of land between 2011 and 2021, stated the SJTA adding “These have been settled for the benefit of the public mostly in form of schools, medical college, roads etc. Decision regarding allotment of land for such public benefit infrastructure projects to Government and others is taken by the Jagannath Temple Committee.”
The SJTA urged people and devotees of Lord Jagannath not be misguided by ‘malicious’ and ‘false’ reporting.
On Tuesday, Law Minister Pratap Jena had informed the State Assembly that the Government has started the process to sell more than 35,000 acres land registered in the name of Lord Jagannath.
Replying to a question in the House, he said, “Around 60,426 acres of land in the name of Lord Jagannath, has been identified in 24 districts across the State. Over 395 acres of land has been identified in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Bihar.”
He said that the temple administration has reclaimed 34,876.983 acres of land so far and the Collectors of the concerned districts have been asked to sell these properties.