The Puri district administration on Tuesday took possession of Bageria Dharmashala located in front of Singhadwar of Jagannath temple. All the rooms of the dharmashala were sealed in the presence of the local tehsildar.
Earlier, Singhadwar police station had been running from one part of the dharmashala located on plot no-203,204,205,206,209 and 210 under Dopamandapsahi Mouza.
Speaking to OTV, Puri tehsildar Khirod Behera said, “The Dharmashala was sealed following orders by the Additional District Magistrate (ADM), Puri. We have taken possession of the entire Dharmashala.”
He alleged that the Bageria Dharmashala Trust Board was using it for commercial purposes. This violated the terms and conditions following which the court ordered its sealing.
“The Trust Board was handed over the Dharmashala to take care of it and the devotees. However, the court observed that they used for commercial purposes instead. This violated the terms and conditions following which the court ordered for its sealing,” he added.
A notice has been put at the entrance of the dharmashala that reads, “Herein, it is informed that the property has been taken over by Odisha govt. Trespassing without permission is punishable.”
“There are 20 rooms on the first floor which we have sealed. More rooms will be sealed in the ground floor. We will reveal the total number after everything is sealed,” he further added.
Worth mentioning, the Dharmashala was built on government land and Bageria Dharmashala Trust Board was entrusted to look after it. However, the Trust allegedly did not manage the Dharmashala properly.
The dharmashala was built to provide affordable accommodation to the devotees visiting the world-renowned pilgrim town. It was supposed to accommodate hundreds of devotees with a minimum fee of Rs 150 per bed.