The 11th century Lingaraj temple is set to be managed through a special Act, just like 12th century Jagannath temple in Puri. The Odisha government has drafted an Act to manage the activities and rituals of the biggest temple in Bhubaneswar.

The Shiva temple currently comes under the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowment Act but with the Lingaraj Temple Act, 2020, it will be independently managed by the Lingaraj Temple Managing Committee. The committee will look into the everyday affairs of the Lingaraj temple.

In 1955, the Jagannath temple had become the first temple in the state to have a special Act. Earlier, it was under the control of the British rule for a long time.

On Tuesday, the draft Act will be discussed before being presented as a Bill in the winter session of the Assembly in November.

The current draft of Lingaraj Temple Act, 2020, says that the income of the temple from the movable as well as the immovable properties would be deposited in a fund. Donations and pilgrims’ offerings would also be part of that fund.

As much as 1500 acre land is registered on the name of the Lingaraj Temple on various location. But most of these places are under encroachment.

Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sajjan Sharma criticised the special Act for Lingaraj temple, saying: “The government is yet to account for the properties in Jagannath temple treasury as it is yet to be opened. For the last 9 months, Jagannath temple has been closed while thousands of devotees and priests want it to be opened. Merely beautifying temples would not give BJD any Hindutva appeal.”