Puri: Come New Year, the administration has planned a slew of amenities for the devotees visiting Srimandir with the work for the same has begun in full swing.
According to sources, the 12th century shrine witnesses a daily footfall of 50,000 to 60,000 devotees which even reaches a lakh during festivities. “Devotees had to wait in long queues under scorching sun and torrential rains. The barricade at Srimandir will be shifted towards the east and will originate from the temple office. This will facilitate construction of a shed for devotees,” said a source, adding that work for the project started Thursday.
A Berhampur-based private firm will execute the project which is expected to be completed before the New Year’s Day. “The 14-line temporary barricade will have a ceiling. Moreover, stands for shoes and cell phones besides facilities for drinking water and toilet will be put in place near Bada Akhada Mutt,” said a source, adding that the work on the projects have already begun and the district administration aims to offer them facilities to devotees by New Year.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will inaugurate the facilities, added the source.
The move follows the Supreme Court’s November 4 recommendations for enabling peaceful ‘darshan’ by devotees and providing amenities for them, sources said.
When asked, district Collector Balwant Singh said that they would ensure all facilities to ensure devotees have a peaceful darshan of the deities. “The district administration is pulling out all the stops to make sure that devotees have a smooth and peaceful darshan of the Lord. Construction of shoe stand, cell phone stand, drinking water and toilet facilities are in full swing. Work on barricade relocation has already begun. The facilities will be made available to devotees from New Year,” Singh pointed out.
Notably, more than a year after mooting a dozen of proposals to reform the affairs at the 12th century shrine, the Supreme Court had November 4 recommended for a slew of proposals including accommodation facility for 60,000 pilgrims.