The Jagannath Temple Administration in Puri has decided to beautify the surrounding of the shrine by developing landscape lighting along the boundary wall (meghanad pacheri). Though the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) recently planted saplings along the boundary wall, lack of maintenance has damaged its beauty.
“ASI authorities cited funds crunch for their inability to develop and preserve the park around the temple. The temple administration is ready to create landscapes and install lighting facility,” temple’s chief administrator Arvind Padhee said after holding discussion with ASI authorities at Puri on Tuesday. “In nighttime, landscape lighting would be a visual delight to pilgrims,” Padhee said. The temple body is planning to develop the landscape lighting in public-private-partnership (PPP) mode. The proposed landscaping is also aimed at preventing vendors from encroaching on the periphery of the temple.
Though the 12th century shrine is one of the famous temples in the country and attracts more than 50,000 pilgrims on a given day, the dirty surrounding of the temple has of late spoiled the spiritual ambience. Not only vendors have encroached on spaces near the boundary wall, the temple dumps truck-loads of garbage, generated from the shrine’s kitchen, almost every day. The scene is equally an eyesore inside the temple where beautiful architectures on wall have been defaced by red stains of betel and gutka spittoons.
Towards the end of 2006, the Jagannath temple administration had decided to slap a fine of Rs 100 on anyone spitting inside the temple. But it was hardly ever implemented. The temple officials admit it. They could not even figure out how many offenders (both priests and pilgrims) had been fined so far for spitting inside the temple.
“The rule has not been implemented in a proper way due to lack of consciousness among people. Civic sense is a vital ingredient to implement such rules. Fine alone cannot curb such a habit. Everyone visiting the temple should take it as a moral responsibility to not to deface a holy premise through spitting,” said a temple officer.