Jeypore-based Surya Mahal is gradually losing its sheen thanks to lack of maintenance by the State government.
According to sources, Surya Mahal is one of the four Mahals set up during the reign of Maharaja Bikram Dev Burma. Two Mahals are situated at Visakhapatnam while two others are at Jeypore.
Puri Gajapati Divyasingh Dev has recently expressed his displeasure after a portion of Surya Mahal collapsed due to incessant rain caused by a low pressure.
Meanwhile, the century-old Surya Mahal is now lying in a state of dilapidation after a portion of the building collapsed in 2012. It is learnt that the ownership of the historical building still lies with the royal family which is why the government is not intervening. As a result, the Mahal is losing its charm and value owing to lack of care and negligence by the royal family.
Meanwhile, cracks have developed on the walls and plaster has come off the wall. It needs immediate restoration or may be demolished. In short, it can be said without exaggeration that the ancient Surya Mahal is in a deplorable condition and needs high level repair for use.
Locals have been demanding the administration intervene in the matter from time to time as Jeypore Palace lies in a crowded area of the town.
Locals consider Surya Mahal to be the pride of Jeypore as it speaks of the glorious past of the Jeypore kingdom. Instead of demolishing the buildings, necessary steps be taken to restore the buildings.
However, the district administration played safe by saying as the building belongs to royal family. The government has nothing to do with its maintenance.
Tribal culture researcher Paresh Ratha said, “Surya Mahal is our pride. It used to be the museum of Jeypore King. Surya Mahal is losing its sheen thanks to inadequate care by the royal family. The building is not now in a state of repair. The royal family should hand over it.”
Jeypore sub-collector Bedabara Pradhan said, “As Surya Mahal is the private property of the royal family, the state government cannot take its possession and look after its maintenance. If the royal family wants to donate it to the government to convert it into a museum or library, the government will take care of this.”