Rosogolla war: Odisha forms three panels, seeks report in 15 days

Bhubaneswar, Sep 21 (IANS) Odisha on Monday set up three committees to study the origin of the delectable rosogolla and counter the claim of West Bengal which has already started the process to approach the central authorities for geographical indication (GI) over the syrupy sweet.

The Odisha government has asked the committees to furnish a report within 15 days so that it can move the Centre to claim the origin over the sweet.

“We have formed three committees. While the first committee will have seven members, the second committee will have four and the third will have six members. They will collect information about the origin of the rosogolla and examine the claim of West Bengal over the sweet,” said state Science and Technology Minister Pradeep Panigrahi.

The committees have representatives from the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and culture departments to prepare reports for officially claiming the origin of the sweet.

Panigrahi said the first committee would gather the facts regarding the origin, the second would study the basis of Bengal’s claim and the third would collect necessary papers to validate Odisha’s claim.

Sources said the MSME department has already roped in the Odisha Modernising Economy, Governance and Administration (OMEGA), a joint initiative of the state government and the Department for International Development (DFID) of Britain to study the process of the preparation of the rosogolla at Pahala in Khurda district.

The sweet has been a bone of contention between the two states.

While West Bengal is claiming that Nabin Chandra Das introduced the sweet in 1868, the Odisha government said the tradition of offering rosogolla by Lord Jagannath to Goddess Laxmi on the day of Niladri Bije (the day when the deities return to their abode after the annual Rath Yatra) is at least 300 years old, indicating that it is much older than the 150-year history of the Bengali rosogolla.

The geographical indication (GI) identifies a product as originating from a particular location and conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness that is essentially attributable to the fact of its origin.

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