Puri Jagannath temple servitors to get critical illness cover soon
Puri: In a first, servitors of Puri Jagannath Temple will soon be entitled to get financial assistance for critical illness from the Financial Year 2021-22.
Following a meeting of Srimandir’s Finance Sub-Committee, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator Krishan Kumar informed that a draft budget proposal of nearly Rs 202 crore has been made for the centuries-old temple for 2021-22 Financial Year.
Speaking to mediapersons, the official said a new scheme will be introduced in the new Financial Year to provide immediate financial assistance to the servitors and their kin for critical illness like heart and kidney-related illness. The scheme will be implemented on the lines of Odisha State Treatment Fund (STF).
An indicative amount of Rs 50 lakh has been earmarked for the purpose which may be revised later once the guidelines are prepared, he added.
“We have also recommended for formation of of servitors’ welfare fund, in which Rs 5 crore collected by the temple administration will be deposited every year. The built up corpus money will be used for the welfare of servitors, including medical expenses”, he said.
A budget has also been prepared for the proposed Adarsh Gurukul to be set up on around 17 acres land here. The construction work is likely to begin in next year. The draft budget includes allocation of Rs 11 crore for Ratha Yatra.
“The meeting also stressed on collecting more amount of donation to meet all expense of the century-old temple as much as possible. Construction of Dharmasala for Habisyalis and a Bhakta Niwas has almost been completed and will be made available to devotees from next Financial Year. Another Bhakta Niwas will be developed for which officials have been asked to identify land,” he added.
“As earning from bank interest, a major source of income, has significantly declined, a slew of measures like leasing out of stone quarries of the Lord and putting up Srimandir donation boxes (hundis) at airports, railway stations and other important places. Besides, commercial complexes will be erected on the temple lands for generation rental income”, he added.
The official further said, “We have planned to augment Srimandir’s corpus fund from existing Rs 650 crore to Rs 750 crore next year and Rs 1000 crore by 2023.”