25 September, 2020

Delay In Opening Jagannath Temple's Ratna Bhandar Sullying Naveen Patnaik's Transparency Mantra

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has spent Rs 22 lakh on an inquiry into the missing keys of the Ratna Bhandar. The delay in revealing the findings to the public is being seen as mysterious. Are all the gold and diamond safe?

Godly Treasure
Jagannath Temple, Puri
Delay In Opening Jagannath Temple's Ratna Bhandar Sullying Naveen Patnaik's Transparency Mantra
outlookindia.com
2019-11-08T11:24:55+05:30

Amid a lot of fanfare, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has made 5Ts—teamwork, technology, transpa­rency, transformation and time limit—the mantra of his fifth term in office. But when it comes to opening the Ratna Bhandar—the trea­sure trove of Puri’s Jagannath temple, which reportedly has ornaments worth hundreds of crores and whose keys were reported missing more than a year ago—Naveen is seemingly dragging his feet, ignoring his promises of transparency and time limit.

As per the Jagannath Temple Act, 1960, the Naveen-led government should have conducted at least six ­assessments of the stored wealth in the 19 years that it has been in power, but the last time an ­inventory was made was in 1978! That it has not done so even after the clamour to open it for more than a year now has raised suspicions of large-scale pilferage. Brea­k­ing the lock open or making new keys couldn’t have cost more than a few hundred rupees. Instead, Nav­een ­ordered a judicial inquiry to probe how the keys went missing—an...

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