Published On: Mon, Jan 23rd, 2017

Puri temple panel’s term extended

CUTTACK: The State Government has extended another six months’ time to Justice BP Das Commission of Inquiry for submission of its report recommending reforms in Shri Jagannath temple at Puri.

On July 23, 2016, the Government had appointed Justice BP Das, a retired judge of Orissa High Court, to head a one-man commission of inquiry following a hue and cry over the attack on Puri Collector and the delay in conducting the rituals of Lord on the occasion of Niladri Bije on July 17.

The commission, which started functioning on September 29, was scheduled to submit its report within six months which lapsed on January 22. Unable to make any headway due to inordinate delay in receiving suggestions from public, the commission on December 27 had sought extension of the date for submission of its report. The State Government on Saturday extended the duration for another six months through a gazette notification.

The commission through a notification had sought opinions and suggestions from public for bringing in reforms at Puri Jagannath temple in form of affidavits. The last date for filing the affidavits was December 20, 2016. But so far, the response has been unsatisfactory. In order to collect the suggestions, the commission had set up 32 drop boxes including 30 at district headquarters, commission office at Cuttack and office of the Sub-Divisional Officer in Bhubaneswar.

So far, the panel has received 11,161 affidavits, 1,602 proposals through letters and 133 e-mails containing suggestions on temple affairs. However, not a single suggestion was found in the drop boxes set up at the district headquarters of Sundargarh, Nabarangpur, Boudh and Jharsuguda.

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