Ujjain : The issues of erosion of Mahakal Jyotirlingam, security threats to the Mahakal Temple, nuisances created by the supporters of VIPs in the name of darshan and pujan and widening of roads covered under the traditional procession of the Lord Mahakal dominated a preparatory meeting in view of Shravan-Bhadav months.
The Mahakaleshwar Temple Management Committee (MTMC) convened a meeting at 5.30 pm at the Pravachan Hall on Tuesday to apprise the members about their preparations for the forthcoming events and also to take their suggestions. District collector and ex-officio chairman of the MTMC BM Sharma presided over the meeting which lasted for about 90 minutes. Fifteen members expressed their views. Former MP Satya Narayan Pawar, former MLA Rajendra Bharati, BJP leader Roop Pamnani, priests Mahesh Pujari and Pradeep Pujari, social workers Guruprasad Joshi, Jiyalal Sharma, Ashok Jadiya and Dwarkadhish Chaudhari placed their suggestion during the meeting.
On the occasion, the collector made it clear that only two persons will be allowed to accompany the VIPs, which generally means the persons having red and yellow beacon vehicles, to the garbh grih during Shravan-Bhadav months. People trying to enter the garb grih will be restricted on every Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The administration will also ensure that barring pandas and pujaries, nobody could secure place near the worship point of the Lord Mahakal’s palanquin at the Ram Ghat.
The collector also informed that an expert opinion has been sought from the archeological department with regard to the reasons of erosion of the Jyotirlingam and the suggestions to prevent it. He rejected a demand to raze ancient houses from the procession route.
SP Anurag Kumar suggested deployment of a company of State Industrial Security Force (SISF) at the Mahakaleshwar Temple. “We are managing the security from district force, home guards, etc, but looking to the threats we would have to deploy SISF as early as possible and the MTMC should make budgetary provisions for it,” the SP said. He further said that despite criticisms, the police administration would strictly disallow any nuisance during the processions and it was up to the so-called VIPs that how they maintain self-restraint. He assured that a meeting would soon be convened to ensure better coordination with volunteers. MTMC administrator Jayant Joshi conducted the proceedings.
Sharma as diplomat!
Peoples’ representatives were also invited for the meeting, but none of them turned-up at the venue. Discussion over Shahi Sawari arrangements was also included in the agenda of the meeting, but collector BM Sharma excluded it saying that a special meeting will be convened later. Before the members could speak on much talked about issues of erosion of the Jyotirlingam and restriction of entry of devotees in the garb grih, collector in his opening remarks took a lead in raising them. During the meeting, more than half dozen honorary officers (volunteers) complained of insulting behaviour which they have to face from the MTMC staff and police personnel. Collector said that hundreds of applications are pending before him for making people honorary officers. “In the name of being appointed as honorary officers, some persons want to extend services, but several persons want to grab title,” he quipped. Looking to the grievances, he offered to provide jackets to the honorary officers, but changed the view later following amendments. He, finally, asked the members to name five persons, who can suggest about the qualification of the honorary officers.
Here again, more than 8 names were suggested to him and in the meantime the meeting was declared concluded.