Bhubaneswar: The state government has decided to bring an Act in line with Sri Jagannath Temple Act for better management of Shree Lingaraj temple here and its properties.
The law department has drafted the Shree Lingaraj Temple Bill 2020 which will be put before the Assembly after thorough consultation with all stakeholders, sources said. As per the draft Bill, Shree Lingaraj Temple Management Committee will have power to acquire, hold and dispose of properties of the temple.
An IAS officer not below the rank of commissioner and secretary will be appointed as the administrator of the temple while endowments commissioner, addition secretary, law, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner, finance department special secretary, Bhubaneswar DCP, superintending archaeologist of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will be its ex-officio members.
Besides, three servitors and two eminent spiritual personalities nominated by the government will be members of the panel. These members can hold the position for a period of three years.
No person from other than Hindu religion will be a member of the committee. The government will have the power to remove any member of the committee excluding the ex-officio members. It can also dissolve and re-constitute the panel. Every member of the panel will be liable for the loss, waste and misapplication of any money or property of the temple. If so happens, the government will recover the same amount from the concerned member. The chief administrator will issue identity cards to sevakas, office holders and servants for entry into the temple premises. If anyone violates the rule, he/she will pay a fine of Rs 500.
The committee will not only manage the properties of the temple but will ensure rituals and periodical Nitis by the sevakas in accordance with the Record of Seva-Puja. It will also prepare a detailed list of the the temple properties.
To remove unauthorized occupation of land belonging to the temple, the panel can impose provision of Odisha Prevention of Land Encroachment Act, 1954 and Odisha Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1972.
The panel will prepare annual report and submit it to the government. The Accountant General won’t audit the accounts of the temple which will be audited by an auditor to be appointed by the state government. Shree Lingaraj Temple and Associated Temple Fund will be created where all incomes of the temple will be deposited. Five sub-committees will be formed to look after land & project, finance & establishment, welfare of servitors, Nitis and associated temple.