Puri: The Paniapat Niyog of Srimandir has alleged irregularities in the distribution of assistance by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to the servitors during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Paniapat Niyog has claimed that some non-servitors have received the assistance from the SJTA while many genuine servitors of the 12th century shrine are deprived of the Covid-19 aid.
Srimandir, the abode of Lord Jagannath, has been shut for devotees for last the three-and-a-half months due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. The Covid-19 restrictions have affected the financial condition of Srimandir servitors, sources said.
Considering the plight of the servitors, the SJTA has provided Rs 10,000 assistance to each servitor of Srimandir in two phases.
The Paniapat Niyog has alleged that the names of at least 11 non-servitors were included in the list of beneficiaries for the Covid-19 assistance while at least seven Paniapat servitors have been denied the aid.
The SJTA chief administrator was urged to delete the names of the non-servitors from the beneficiaries’ list and take steps to provide the assistance to seven genuine beneficiaries.
The Paniapat Niyog has claimed that the SJTA had sought the bank account numbers and other details of 35 Paniapat servitors for availing the assistance April 17, 2020. However, the Paniapat Niyog informed the SJTA that it had only 24 members. The Niyog expressed its ignorance about the additional 11 servitors, sources said.
“We had submitted the bank accounts and other details of our 24 members to the SJTA. However, only 17 Paniapat servitors received the aid while seven of our members are yet to get the same. We urge the SJTA chief administrator to look into the issue,” said the Paniapat Niyog.
The Niyog claimed that its members Debiprasad Samantaray, Nabakishore Apat, Nrusingha Apat, Prakash Apat, Mukund Apat, Madhab Chandra Apat and Kaibalya Baral have been denied the Covid-19 aid.
Paniapat Niyog secretary Bhimsen Apat, meanwhile, urged the SJTA chief to launch a probe to find out the officials involved in the irregularities and take appropriate actions against them.