Ganjam: The Bateshwar shrine, an ancient sacred temple near Kantiagarh under Palibandh panchayat in this district, is in such a dilapidated condition that villagers themselves have taken up the task of renovating it. Though it is a virtuous act, it bares the apathy of authorities in protecting the temple’s architectural grandeur.
Local residents of six villages — Kantiagarh, Niladripur, Khatuakuda, Mayurpada, Gokharkuda and Podampeta –have taken up the renovation work in their own hands. They have been working together since 2013 to revive the archaeological site.
Located on the shores of Bay of Bengal, the shrine attracts hundreds of visitors throughout the year. Spread over acres of land, it is the centre for religious integration. Beaches and casuarinas add to the beauty of the temple site’s landscape.
After visiting the temple, tourists head to the beach to have some fun. Many people picnic in the casuarina forest during autumn season. Devotees throng the shrine in the holy month of Kartik.
However, the locals are worried over the incomplete works as only five days are left for this year’s Kartik Purnima festival.
Despite being a major tourist attraction, not much has been done for the shrine’s development. People have to face many problems due to lack proper facilities, locals said.
Renovation work that began in 2013 is yet to be completed. A World Bank team had earlier visited the site when the temple committee had drawn its attention to the condition of the shrine. After inspecting the structures, the World Bank released an amount of Rs 1.2 crore for renovation.
However, there has been no major development since then. The amount would be spent on parking facilities, guard wall and waste management in the shrine, the temple committee members said. Similarly, a walkway would be constructed to the sea from the shrine.
Locals were critical of the delay in the work and demanded the immediate completion of renovation of the shrine. PNN