Bhubaneswar: Because the demand for opening Lord Jagannath’s Ratna Bhandar gained momentum, Odisha Regulation Minister Jagannath Saraka’s comment in regards to the security of the treasury of the 12th century shrine at Puri has evoked criticism.

The state authorities got here underneath assault over the difficulty on Friday after Saraka informed reporters in a lighter vein that nobody is conscious of the precise standing of the Ratna Bhandar, significantly the interior chamber of the treasury on the Jagannath Temple.

Requested whether or not the Ratna Bhandar of Lord Jagannath is protected, the Regulation Minister jokingly stated, “Who has seen Ratna Bhandar… neither you nor I.”

The Minister’s remarks got here at a time when the demand for opening the Ratna Bhandar is rising. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has additionally written to the Chief Administrator of Srimandir looking for steps for opening the treasury.

Sources stated ASI Superintendent, in a letter, had requested the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to take essential steps to open the ‘Bhitara Ratna Bhandar’ (interior chamber of the treasury) as it isn’t in situation.  A letter concerning the identical has been despatched to the state Regulation division.

Concerning authorities’s plan on the matter, Saraka stated they might look at ASI’s letter earlier than taking a ultimate choice. The federal government would additionally maintain dialogue with all stakeholders and look at all elements earlier than deciding its future plan of action on the difficulty.

Reacting sharply to Saraka’s remarks, senior Congress chief Nishikant Mishra stated the Minister’s assertion exhibits that the federal government is by no means involved in regards to the security of Lord Jagannath’s Ratna Bhandar and Srimandir.

“The actual fact that the Regulation Minister has no data in regards to the standing of the Ratna Bhandar exhibits the informal method of the federal government which isn’t bothered in regards to the security of the construction,” he claimed.

Claiming that the federal government is apprehending defeat in subsequent elections, Mishra stated it ought to open the Ratna Bhandara to pave the best way for essential restore work.

Notably, in 2021 then regulation minister Pratap Jena knowledgeable the state Meeting that in keeping with 1978 stock, the ‘Ratna Bhandar’ had 12,831 ‘bhari’ of gold and 22,153 ‘bhari’ of silver (one bhari is the same as 11.66 gram). The treasury additionally had 12,831 gram of gold ornaments with valuable stones and different valuables in retailer, he had stated.



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