Bhubaneswar: Secretary Transformation and Initiatives (5T) VK Pandian today paid a visit to the Lingaraj Temple here to monitor and survey the progress regarding infrastructure development in and around the temple premises.
The senior IAS officer reached the temple complex at about 4.30 am and was accompanied by Works Secretary Kishan Kumar, Bhubaneswar DCP Anup Sahu, Khurda ADM Manoranjan Mallik and several temple administration office bearers.
Giving much-needed attention to the prime tourist location in the Capital city, the State government’s Tourism department has sanctioned Rs 8.5 crore for the development of the surroundings and if needed, eviction drive will be carried out for the same. Following the Puri developmental and beautification drive pattern, a market complex adjacent to the Lingaraj Temple was razed.
Recently, the State Commissioner of Endowments, in a letter to the Director-General of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had pointed out the lapses and negligence of the ASI authorities, Odisha Circle, towards preservation and conservation of the temple.
Endowments Commissioner Chitaranjan Mohapatra had alleged that ASI hardly ever consults with the Commissioner of Endowments or the temple authorities regarding any preservation and/or conservation work. He had requested the State government’s intervention.
Dubbed as the face of transformation, VK Pandian is known to give surprise visits to district hospitals, colleges, Aahar Kendras and other government initiatives to scrutinize the functioning of the organization. His early morning visit to the Lingaraj Temple might signify giving a new face to the 1000 AD temple.