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Ramakanta Biswas

The controversy surrounding the Puri Srimandir heritage corridor project echoed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday with Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi saying that the project works were being carried out without the permission of the National Monuments Authority (NMA).  

Raising the burning issue in the Lower House, the BJP MP said though the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (or AMASR Act) 1958 says any kind of new construction cannot be carried out within 100 metre radius of any historical site, Illegal digging of ground within 100 metres near the 12th century shrine is presently underway.

“Extensive digging activities are underway in regulated and prohibited areas of Jagannath temple. The permissions of the ASI and National Monuments Authority (NMA) have not been taken for the works,” Sarangi said.

The parliamentarian said development should be done but within the purview of law and added that the Odisha government must stop the digging works near Puri Srimandir immediately. 

“We support development and beatification works. However, works that violate the law and pose threat to the temple should stop,” the she maintained.

Reacting to the allegations, BJD’s Puri MP Pinaki Mishra said, “Puri Srimandir Heritage Corridor Project work is underway only after NOC from the National Monuments Authority. No digging is being done, only four toilets are being constructed. The works will have no impact on the temple.”

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