Himansu Shekhar Rout

A proposal has reportedly been moved for two underpasses at the Badadanda (Grand Road) to streamline movement and darshan by devotees and local residents at Puri Srimandir. 

As per reports, two proposals in this regard were moved by the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee (SJTMC).  

However, questions are being raised if the two projects will take concrete shape because certain permissions are required from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) while the safety aspect of the temple is to be weighed, said sources. 

As per reports, one such underpass has been proposed from Srikrushna Cinema Hall Chhak to Dolabedi Corner and the other is from Dolabedi Corner to Badachhata Chhak.    

Currently, a check-gate type system is operational near Dolabedi Corner. The check-gate often remains closed, causing difficulties for devotees and local residents in free movement. They get stuck for hours. 

Durga Dasmohapatra, a member of the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee (SJTMC) said, "This proposal was just discussed at a meeting. It will take time for finalisation. There will be a survey on the proposal and its pros and cons will be assessed. Besides, some permissions are required." 

DB Garnaik, the superintending archaeologist of the ASI said, “There was a proposal for a structure to ease movement of devotees. That place comes under a prohibited area. Any kind of structure will hamper the view of the temple. We had told them to have an underground pass. That will not hamper view and only facilitate movement.” 

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Senior Servitor Binayak Dasmohapatra said, "The plan to build underpasses under Badadanda is not possible at all. That can only be possible under Sridananda. The Badadanda will bear the load of three chariots and thousands of devotees during the Rath Yatra.”

However, Pradip Sahu, the Srimandir administrator (Development), said, “There is no such proposal about underpasses. Meetings will be held and if any decision is taken, then you will be informed about it.”

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