Bhubaneswar: Covid-19 test of Lingaraj Temple servitors and police personnel will be conducted from today ahead of Maha Shivaratri on March 11. A decision in this regard was taken during a coordination meeting held yesterday to chalk out plans for the smooth conduct of much-awaited ritual of Lord Shiva with all Covid-19 restrictions in place.
The coordination meeting was attended by temple executive officer Prasanna Kumar Dash, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) additional commissioner Abani Kanta Patnaik, Khordha additional collector Prafulla Kumar Swain and servitors of various nijogs. Meanwhile, Brahmin nijog has threatened of non cooperation on March 10 during Lord Lingaraj and Kapilanath ‘Bheta Ghat’ if the ritual gets delayed like previous years. The nijog has also filed a written complaint in this regard.
“The meeting witnessed discussion on the smooth conduct of Maha Shivratri of Lord Lingaraj. We are yet to get our long-standing ‘Srabani’ dues. The Endowment Commission had assured us to clear the dues but we are yet to get it. Till the time the dues are not cleared we will not cooperate in any rituals,” threatened Kamalakanta Sahoo, Badu nijog secretary.
Echoing the same voice Brahmin nijog secretary Biranchi Narayan Pati also threatened of non cooperation if their demands are not met. Amid non cooperation threatening from the servitors, BMC additional commissioner Abani Kanta Patnaik, however, has assured the smooth conduct of the Maha Shivratri rituals. “Executive officer of the temple has called a meeting of servitors for timely completion of rituals of Lord Lingaraj on Jagara. Some demands of the servitors could not be fulfilled which we are trying to address,” Patnaik said.