BARIPADA: Apathy of the Endowments department towards preservation of the chariots of the Holy Trinity at the Haribaldevjew temple, has evoked resentment among locals as rains have been damaging the wood.
Rath Yatra at the temple, also known as the Dwitiya Srikhetra, was not conducted this year due to the pandemic. However, 50 to 60 per cent of chariot construction had been completed when the State government imposed restrictions on the annual festival. Since then, the partially constructed chariots are stationed at the Grand Road with no maintenance efforts by authorities concerned.
Besides, the wood logs have not been dismantled as the ‘Ratha godown’ at Haribaldevjew temple has been razed due to ongoing renovation work. As a result, the timber exposed to rain and moisture is getting worn out.
Manoj Kumar Sahu, a citizen of Purunahat Sahi in Ward No-6, said ideally, the wood used in the chariots has to be preserved within 15 to 20 days of Rath Yatra but nothing has been done this year. Timber worth lakhs of rupees have started showing signs of damage in absence of timely intervention, he said.
Members of Math Mandir Surakshya Samiti too have raised concern over the issue. They have alleged that the outfit reached out to the department to preserve the timber used for chariots but to no avail. Contacted, Collector Vineet Bhardwaj said he will direct Baripada Sub-Collector Anya Das to engage manpower to dislodge wood from the three chariots and preserve the logs in a safer place at the earliest.