The Shri Jagannath Temple management committee on Tuesday approved the 12th century shrine’s 2020-21 annual budget of Rs 154 crore, officials said.
The budget was approved at a meeting chaired by Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb.
“There has been a significant drop in the temple’s revenue, but its spending has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Krishan Kumar, chief administrator of the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA).
In addition to the daily expenses in the temple, the SJTA must also spend expenses on setting up COVID care homes and other related activities, he said.
“We have decided to urge worshipers to donate online to the temple fund to bridge the gap,” Mr. Kumar said.
Participants also discussed Lord Jagannath’s “Nagarjuna Besha”, rituals during the holy month of Kartika and welfare programs for the servants, he said.
On the proposal to reopen the temple to the public, Mr. Kumar said, “A discussion will take place again with the Chhatisa Nijog (group of servants). It will take about four weeks to prepare for the reopening of the shrine.”
The SJTA must also get permission from the state government to reopen the temple, he said.
Justice Minister Pratap Jena said the government was aware of the request to reopen the temple but the decision would be made taking into account the COVID-19 situation.
Sources, however, said the state government was unlikely to give a green signal for the temples to reopen, as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik warned people of a possible second wave of COVID cases. -19 during the winter.
He had said residents of Odisha must adhere to COVID-19 guidelines after returning from places like Delhi, Kerala and European countries.
(This story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)