The Odisha cabinet on Wednesday decided to amend the Shri Jagannath Temple Act, 1954 for the immediate settlement of Jagannath land-related issues.
The cabinet meeting, which was held virtually under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, decided to bring an ordinance to amend certain provisions of the Act, said Law Minister Pratap Jena.
The cabinet delegated powers to the temple administration, the temple management committee and concerned officials for sale, lease of land in the name of Lord Jagannath.
“The people who have occupied the temple land and wanted to get the land rights, have not been able to do so due to existing provisions in the Act. All such proposals were submitted to the law department. To simplify the system, the cabinet has decided to amend the Act,” Jena said.
Earlier, people who had occupied or were in possession of temple land for long had approached the state government for the sale, transfer and mortgage of the land, he said.
Now, there is no need to get approval from the government for the same. They can submit their application to the temple managing committee, temple administration and concerned officials, informed Jena.
Jena said that thousands of families across the state had applied for the settlement of these lands, and would benefit from this decision of the cabinet.
This decision will solve the problems of people across the State who have been living on the temple land for over four to 50 years. The temple administration will also enhance its income with the sale of such lands, said Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra.
The Jagannath temple has about 60,426 acres of land in 24 districts of Odisha and another 395.252 acres of land in other states like West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Bihar.