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PURI: A whopping Rs 290 crore budget for 2017-18 fiscal was passed by Sri Jagannath Temple managing committee after five hours of deliberations over various aspects.
The budget meeting, held on Saturday, was presided over by temple body chairman Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb and attended by officials concerned besides the servitor members. The budget would be sent to the State Government for approval.

The budget surpasses the Puri Municipality budget, which is about Rs 86 crore and is yet to be cleared.
The emphasis  is on creating more infrastructure and other basic facilities to meet the needs of ever increasing number of devotees. It envisages a number of welfare measures for the servitor community.
The temple expects corpus fund to reach  Rs 118 crore and Rs 100 crore from sale of temple land and property located across the State. This apart, Rs 12 crore is likely to be collected from auction of stone mounds.

Collection from temple hundi is expected to be over Rs 8.8 crore while the temple body would get Rs 93,19,60,000 grant from the State Government. This apart, income from other sources such as Rs 3.97 crore from auctions, Rs 2.97 crore from two Bhakta Nivas (accommodation for devotees) and Rs 24.4 crore from other sources besides Rs 34.8 lakh from Yatri Nivas is expected. An amount of Rs 10.61 crore would be spent towards salaries of employees and Rs 5 crore has been allocated for salary, pension and gratuity of temporary employees. About Rs 3.5 crore would be deposited in the employees’ pension fund and Rs 3.54 crore has been provided for Rath Yatra this year.

Multi-storey parking space mooted

The temple administration is planning to spend Rs 20 crore to create a multi-storey state-of-the art parking space at Jagannath Ballav for 1,500 vehicles, develop six water bodies in Jagannath Ballav and preserve rare herbs.
Funds from Hruday, Abhadha and Prasad schemes would be made available for the mega project, temple Chief Administrator S C Mahapatra said. The State forest, urban and tourism departments were asked to prepare a master plan for this project.