Puri: Taking a final decision on Rath Yatra live telecast bidding process, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has shelved the move and has allowed all the television channels to broadcast the annual car festival in lieu of a contribution to the coffers of Jagannath temple fund.
The decision comes a day after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Orissa High Court.
Chief administrator Pradipta Mohapatra said, “All channels are allowed to do live telecast of the festival. But if any channel is showing commercials and advertisements in between the Rath Yatra festival and is earning revenue from it, then they will have to share a part of the revenue with the temple.” The main objective is to raise funds for the 12th century shrine, he said.
“If any channel is showing the festival free of ads, then they are welcome to do so and they need not contribute anything to the temple fund,” he added. The amount of contribution will be discussed with channel representatives within the next two days, he informed.
It is notable to mention here that the SJTA had invited tenders of the live telecast rights on Monday among which OTV had emerged as the highest bidder with Rs 54 lakh. Prarthana had bid Rs 10 lakhs, Kanak Rs 1.25 lakhs, News 18 Rs 15 lakhs, MBC Rs 36 lakhs, Kalinga Rs 10 lakhs, Sadhana’s bidding was Rs 4,44,444.44. The bidding move had faced a lot of criticism as many called it ‘unfair’ and would eventually restrict the propagation of Jagannath culture.