Puri, 10 May-2014, Abhijit Saha: Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) is facing sharp scarcity of large logs of wood that is needed for building up of the 3 chariots for the Lord’s annual Rath Yatra to be held on 29th June.
The concern has been discussed at the first festival coordination committee meeting held on Thursday. The meeting was led by the chairman S K Vashisth, who is the Revenue Divisional Commissioner of Central Division.
After the meeting, an official has informed that the administration needs ne less than 42 large logs for the construction of Tumba (the centre of the wheels). But till now, the Government of Odisha has been able to deliver just 28 pieces of logs of the needed dimension.
He said that since the needed log size is not available in the forests under the Nayagarh Division, they would make arrangements to obtain such huge logs from the forests in the Daspalla and Boudh areas which are at the close proximity.
The Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Nayagarh has guaranteed in the meeting that the large logs would be made available soon.
According to the sources, a total of about 13,000 cubic feet of wood worth Rs 60 Lakh is needed every year for building of the 3 temple sized chariots. Hence, something like one thousand trees of about 862 species needed to be cut every year for building of the chariots.
Although environmentalists had previously raised voice in opposition to cutting of such a great numbers of trees for construction of chariots each year, Crores of devotees of Lord Jagannath have demanded for continuance of the tradition of celebrating the annual Rath Yatra with chariots made of fresh wood.