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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Amidst raging controversy over the Srimandir Parikrama project, the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey near Emar mutt in Puri was undertaken again on Tuesday. The incident has triggered a fresh controversy.

Earlier, the district administration had stated that considering the impediment factors in the daytime, the survey was conducted late at night. However, the conduct of the survey again during daytime has raised many eyebrows. Question mark has been put over the intention of the State government following the incident.

As per sources, the survey is being conducted at the project site by Geocarte Radar Technology Private Limited on behalf of IIT Gandhinagar at the behest of Odisha Bridge and Construction Corporation (OBCC). Five engineers, eight employees of the company are conducting the survey using three machines. The institute has been asked to complete the survey in five days. The final report is likely to be submitted to OBCC soon.

Notably, the Opposition parties had lambasted the State government for the GPR survey carried out around the Jagannath Temple in a clandestine manner late on Saturday night.

The case related to the corridor project is currently sub-judice in the Orissa High Court. During the last hearing, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had submitted that the State Government had not carried out a GPR survey around the temple before executing deep excavation works for the project construction. The ASI raised serious suspicion that the digging work without the survey might have destroyed the rich heritage around the shrine.

BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra had accused Puri BJD MP Pinaki Misra of misleading the judiciary and people of Odisha about the GPR survey of the project.

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