Puri: The live telecast of world famous Puri Ratha Yatra has mired in a controversy as the temple administration decided offer exclusive right to one television channel through tender process.
Even as the Sri Jaganath Temple Administration (SJTA) is set to announce the winner of the bidding process on Tuesday, the matter has landed up in the Odisha high court.
The bidding for exclusive right to telecast the rituals of Ratha Yatra received offers from seven TV channels, mostly local Odia channel expect the Sadhana TV. Among the bidders, OTV has offered the highest Rs 54 lakh followed by MBC TV Rs 36 lakh. While News 18 Odia has quoted Rs 15 lakh, Kalinga TV bid for Rs 10 lakh. OTV’s sister concern Prathana and national religious channel Sadhana have quoted Rs 10 lakh and Rs 4,44,444. Kanak TV has offered Rs 1.25 lakh.
Meanwhile, one Prasana Kumar Das has filed a PIL in the high court challenging the SJTA decision to offer exclusive right of live telecast to one TV channel through bidding process.
According to Das’ advocate Dilip Kumar Mohapatra, Arun Kumar Sahu and Siba Narayan Panda, the SJTA decision would deprive millions of devotees of Lord Jaganath from watching the annual grand rituals of their deities.
However, the SJTA chief administrator Pradipta Mohapatra said that the decision to give exclusive right of live telecast to one TV channel is aimed at maximising revenue for the temple. He clarified that the tender condition says that the bid winner will have to provide free feeding to the national channel Doordarshan which is being aired free of cast to million of houses in the country and aborad.