The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has dismissed reports that the Odisha government was planning to sell over 35,000 acres of land belonging to Lord Jagannath.
Earlier, reports claimed that the Naveen Patnaik government has initiated the process to sell nearly 35,272 acres of land that belongs to Shree Jagannath Mandir in the state. Odisha minister Pratap Jena, while replying to a question asked by MLA Mohan Charan Majhi, said that the house that 60,426.943 acres of land in the name of Lord Jagannath have been identified in 24 districts. The temple administration has reclaimed 34,876.983 acres of the land so far.
Rubbishing the reports, SJTA chief administrator Krishan Kumar said the claim of the sale of Jagannath land on a massive scale was "false" and "motivated".
"The lands, which are occupied or are under the possession of various persons since long but belong to Shree Jagannath Mahaprabhu are being settled by temple committee as per the unified policy framed for the purpose in the year 2003 with an objective of protection of the land of Lord Jagannath," he said.
"This policy also aimed to bring transparency and uniformity in the processes to be followed for settlement of land to eligible persons. From 2001 to 2010, a total of 291 acres of land was settled and from 2011 to 2021, a total of 96 acres of land was settled. These have been settled for the benefit of the public mostly in the form of schools, medical college, roads etc," the SJTA chief stated.
He said the decisions regarding the allotment of land for such public benefit infrastructure projects to the government and others are taken by the Jagannath Temple committee.