Vikash Sharma

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab on Friday expressed concerns over the tardy progress of the Paika Rebellion Memorial in Odisha.

Even though six years have now passed to the completion of 200 years of Paika Rebellion (a valiant uprising of Paikas in 1817 against British Rule ) and three years to the foundation stone laying ceremony for the project, the memorial project is yet to make a tangible headway. Former President Ram Nath Kovind had laid the foundation stone for the project in 2019.

Though Odisha government had provided 10 acres of land for the project, it is now demanding funds under various heads. As a result, the project is yet to see the light of the day.

"It is a symbol of Odia pride. It is not a factory, rail or road project. The Central government's culture department is ready to abide by all norms. The Odisha government provided land free of cost. Approval was also accorded for the translocation of trees and electricity poles," said Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahtab said, "It will be appropriate to complete the project as already there has been much delay. IOCL and Centre are sanctioning funds and the state government has provided land. Odisha govt has provided land and a new system is now prevailing for the translocation of trees for which there has been some delay. Several times in the past, trees were felled for industries and plantation work done."

Meanwhile, the state government officials could not be contacted over the remarks made by the Union Minister and the Cuttack MP.

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