Puri Parikrama project was inaugurated on Wednesday, but the residents of the pilgrim city who were evicted and relocated for the project reportedly felt let down as they were allegedly not invited to the inauguration ceremony.
They lamented that the state government, which had earlier honoured them for their contribution and expressed gratitude, finally ‘sidelined’ them on the occasion.
They voiced their suppressed resentment for such negligence. Gopinath Mishra, an oustee, said, "Before the eviction, the administration had promised us to issue special identity cards, but it has not been done as yet.”
Chittaranjan Jena, another displaced person said, "We were told that identity cards will be issued to us. Besides, there will be information plaques where the names of oustees will be engraved. That did not happen. They did not even think it wise to at least give an invitation card on this auspicious occasion.”
Basant Manjari Jena was unhappy after being evicted from near the temple area. “Where is the happiness? We were evicted from our houses. Not an invitation was given to us to get a chance to attend such a grand ceremony, she added.
On the other hand, the temple administration has felicitated people starting from gardeners to heavy vehicle operators on the inauguration day today for their labour and dedication to the infrastructure development. Raghurajpur’s Pattachitra artist Universe Maharana, construction worker Laxmi Pradhan, horticulturist Raju Bhoi, JCB operator Prakash Pradhan, stone sculptors Rabindra Gouda and Kirtan Moharana, masons Kabiraj Rout and Bibhu Rout and labour assistant Sukant Pradhan, who were feted on the occasion, expressed their happiness.