Panic over the decision to demolish structures around Jagannath temple

Panic over the decision to demolish structures around Jagannath temple

Agency News

Puri, Aug 18: Odisha government’s decision to demolish all structures 75 meters around the Sri Jagannath temple for security reasons has spread panic among the residents likely to be affected.

In a major decision to ensure the safety and security of 12th century Sri Jagannath temple, the Odisha cabinet on Friday decided to demolish all constructions around 75 metres radius of the temple.

The decision was taken based on the reports of the Justice BP Das Committee.

Aggrieved at the decision of the cabinet, the affected residents of Puri have demanded the government to reconsider it as hundreds of families would be displaced while many would lose livelihood.

According to a preliminary survey about 450 commercial shops, 20 numbers of mutts and small temples and 150 houses would be demolished if the government executes 75-metre norm.

Reacting to this decision Vinayak Dasmahaptra, a senior Daitapati as well as the city Congress president told media persons that in 2015 the administration had demolished 89 shops situated close to the Meghnad preacher (temple boundary wall) for security and smooth flow of devotee traffic and Rs25 crore was paid as compensation.

If the 75-metre norm was carried out hundreds would become homeless while many others would likely to lose their livelihood.

Ramchandra Dasmahapatra, also a senior servitor of the temple, Krushna Chandra Khuntia and many others reacted in the same manner.

On the other hand, District collector Balwant Singh told media persons that the administration would carry out the government decision. The scheduled widening of Parikrama would begin from Monday.

Before going for extending it to 75 metres a detailed survey would be conducted soon, he said.

Puri Superintendent of police Umashankar Dash said adequate police would be provided to implement the government decision. (UNI)