Bhubaneswar: The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Tuesday said it will allow all television channels to live telecast the Rath Yatra in Puri, instead of its earlier plans for bidding of the broadcast rights.
“No television channel will be denied the right to broadcast the festival,” SJTA chief administrator PK Mohapatra told reporters. The channels, however, will be requested to share a part of the revenue they generate through the commercial advertisements with the temple administration, Mohapatra said.
Asked if bidding for live
telecast is now cancelled, he said: “No. We have determined the market price through the bidding process. We will talk to the channels and request them to pay a part to the temple, as they are generating revenue through telecast of the festival.”
The decision of the Temple Management Committee headed by Gajapati Maharaj Divya Singh Deb came a day after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Orissa High Court. The PIL has challenged the SJTA’s move to go for bidding. Earlier, the SJTA had invited sealed tenders from broadcasters, that were opened Monday. Seven television channels had bid for the telecast rights.
However, the management committee decided against bidding in view of the strong opposition from different quarters, sources said. Notably, a PIL was filed in the Orissa High Court Monday opposing the bidding process for live telecast rights of the upcoming Rath Yatra in Puri. Petitioner Prasanna Kumar Das of Tiadisahi in Puri made the chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and Puri District Collector parties to
The petitioner urged the HC to quash a notification issued by the SJTA for awarding the live telecast rights of the annual Rath Yatra to a single TV channel through an open bidding process.
He informed the court that the notification issued by the SJTA with regard to the live telecast rights of Rath Yatra has contravened the Srimandir Act.
The petitioner claimed that crores of people from across the globe watch the Rath Yatra through its live telecast by multiple TV channels. Even some people watch the mega event through web portals.
“Many people may not be able to watch annual Rath Yatra live if the telecast rights are awarded to a single TV channel. The SJTA move is violating Article 25 of the Indian Constitution,” the petition said. The petitioner urged the court to take necessary steps to allow live telecast of Rath Yatra in multiple TV channels.
Guidelines for commentators
he SJTA has initiated a process to regulate the selection of commentators on Rath Yatra by various TV channels. SJTA chief administrator PK Mohapatra said the temple administration is preparing guidelines for selection of commentators on the mega event by TV channels. “Many commentators invited by the TV channels do not have proper knowledge on Srimandir and Jagannath culture. They are providing wrong information to people. The issue has been deliberated at the meeting of Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee,” Mohapatra said. The SJTA chief said they would ask TV channels to select people having sound knowledge of Jagannath culture as commentators. “We would ask TV channels to submit the names of their commentators in advance,” Mohapatra added.