Mrunal Manmay Dash

A narrow path from Puri King’s palace to the Singhadwara was opened on Tuesday for the pedestrians to facilitate entry into Srimandir in Puri.

It was a long-pending demand of the locals and devotees, who had been walking at least 3 kms more to get to the Singhadwara or to the other side of the Temple because of the on-going construction work under the Srimandir Parikrama Project.

Speaking on the development, the Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation (OBCC) Superintendent Engineer, Prabhat Kumar Panigrahi said, “We have opened this on priority to provide some relief to the devotees and the locals who use this section of the Grand Road for commute.”

“As the construction work is still going on, we have barred vehicle movement in the area. The path is opened only for pedestrians,” Panigrahi informed.

As per reports, the under-construction project has rendered the Grand Road (Badadanda) in the front and around the Srimandir inaccessible for locals as well as visiting tourist. The broken roads, dug-up pavements and stone chips scattered all over the place have reportedly made life of daily commuters and tourists more difficult, triggering demands for completion of projects as soon as possible.

The situation has become particularly difficult for the locals of Baseli Sahi, Markandeswar Sahi and Harachandi Sahi who have to tread at least 3-5 kms more in order to get to the other side of the temple.

A frustrated devotee said, “The administration started work on all fronts together, which was a blunder. They should have completed one road at a time so that the public inconvenience could have been kept at bay.”

Similarly, a shopkeeper who has a shop at the Grand Road said, “The devotees were particularly unhappy over the construction work. It affected our businesses as well. With no roads for the visitors, we faced a hard time doing business too.”

Meanwhile, the OBCC has acknowledged the inconvenience and assured to complete the work by the end of this year.

(Reported By Madhusudan Mishra, OTV)