Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra telecast Bidding Concludes

Puri: The tender bidding for the telecast rights for the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri was completed today even as people from various walks of life criticized the move and described as a commercial one.

 The deadline for submitting bids ended at 4.30 PM and seven TV channels took part in the bid. The Odisha’s premiere news channel OTV is the highest bidder (Rs 54 lakh). The channel that that will be conferred telecast rights will be announced later today, said officials of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration.

The channel that will win the bid have exclusive rights to cover the Rath Yatra rituals, starting from Snana Yatra (bathing of the deities) on June 17 to the Niladire Vije (return of the deities to the temple, marking the end of the Rath Yatra) on July 14. The channel that wins the bid will have to share the feed free of charge with national broadcaster Doordarshan, and must follow all the laws and rules of the governments of India and Odisha, they said.

The move to sell the Rath Yatra telecast rights on part of the temple administration has however drawn sharp reactions while authorities concerned defend the plan by saying that it will increase the temple’s revenue.

It’s a commercial move. The government should have abstained from revenue generation of this nature from religious festival like Rath Yatra, said senior congress leader, Narasingha Mishra.