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Pradeep Pattanayak

Several developmental projects in Puri, Konak and Ekamra Kshetra in Bhubaneswar have received green signals from the National Monuments Authority (NMA). 

Taking the revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted by Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation (OBCC) in to consideration, the NMA has issued ‘No-Objection’ to execute developmental works in the prohibited area. 

The works to be executed in Ekamra Kshetra are as follows:

1. Outer access road (OAR) including East OAR: Kotiteertheswara Lane Y junction, South OAR, West OAR (Rath Road): Tinimundia Chhak-Badhai Banka junction 

2. Pedestrian connect including Bindusagar Pedestrian Linkages: South linkage  (Kotiteertheswara Lane-Sitala Sasthi and Taleswara Chhak to Kedar Gouri temple 

3. Parking including Lingaraj Multimodal Hub, Kedargouri parking and special reserved parking 

4. Lingaraj Entrance Plaza

5. Heritage Park (Earlier proposed as Cultural Plaza) 

6. Kedargouri Plaza

7. Anant Vasudev Plaza

8. Lingaraj Haat

9. Bhajan Mandap

In a letter to the Director, Culture Department, Bhaskar Verma, the member secretary of NMA directed that the works may be executed under the supervision of ASI to mitigate any adverse impact to the protected monuments. 

He also directed that all excavation works proposed to be carried out as part of the developmental project may be undertaken under the supervision of ASI in the interest of safety of any archaeological remains or artefacts that may be unearthed. 
At the same time, the NMA has stipulated some conditions for compliance. The conditions are: 

- All new structures to be constructed should be non-intrusive and devoid any heavy architecture

- All new structures to be constructed may be temporary structures wherever possible

- Locally available building materials should be used in the construction work for harmony with the existing landscape

- Use of heavy machinery for digging work should be avoided to mitigate the adverse impact on account of vibration on the protected monuments and the digging work should be manually or with the help of light machinery under the supervision of ASI

Similarly, the NMA has also issued ‘No-Objection’ for the construction of foot over bridge and multi model transit hub in the regulated area in Konark. On the other hand, yesterday the NMA has accorded a no objection certificate (NOC) for construction of the Shree Jagannath Reception Centre in the prohibited and regulated area of Jagannath temple.

In this regard, MP Aparajita Sarangi said, “We had then asked the government to carry out the construction work keeping AMASR ACT 1958 in view. But the government did not pay heed to us. It was when we launched a protest against the construction works, the ASI and NMA asked the state government to submit a revised DPR.”

She continued: “Thereafter, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and the Odisha Bridge and Construction Corporation (OBCC) prepared a DPR and submitted the same. After the NOC meeting, the recommendations made by the NMA are no different from what we had demanded.”

Welcoming the recommendations, Science and Technology Minister Ashok Chandra Panda said, “I am grateful to the Chief Minister for taking the initiative to conserve and beautify all the heritage sites in the state. The recommendations given by the NMA for the conservation and beautification of the sites are good not only for the servitors but also for the people of Odisha. Once the project is completed, tourists and devotees will be immensely benefitted,” 

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