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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started process to make 'Ekamra Kshetra', heritage hub of Temple City beggar-free.

The civic body has started to make efforts to rehabilitate beggars/destitutes roaming near Lingaraj temple with livelihood support and bring them to mainstream under the 'Sahaya' scheme of Odisha government.

The move is reportedly a part of the beautification and developmental work of Ekamra Kshetra Amenities and Monumental Revival Action (EKAMRA) Plan.

As per a press release, the BMC has commenced survey in the Old Town area to identify beggars and homeless people. The local Body will help the beggars who want to return to their home, and those who don't wish to return will be rehabilitated in various shelter homes.

The administration has deployed Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and government officials in identifying beggars and shifting them to shelter homes.

In another development, so far about 90 per cent land acquisition has been completed for the Ekamra Kshetra Heritage Project around the temple of Lord Lingaraj. The rest of the land acquisition will be completed by end of December under the Ekamra Kshetra Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, said a BMC official, who is the Nodal Officer for Land Acquisition.

To make the land acquisition process hassle-free for elderly and senior citizens, the BMC officials are reaching out to their homes to complete the paper work at their doorsteps considering their healthcare need and limitations during this pandemic time.

"We are very pleased and satisfied the way BMC has helped us in finalizing the paperwork and making the agreement for land acquisition," said Shri Priyabrata Mahapatra, who is providing 38 decimal of plot near Bindusagar lake for construction of an alternate road.

In addition to the above steps, the City Administration has requested traders and business establishments in the Ekamra Kshetra to replace the signages with uniform, interpretative, directional signages in the area.

The heritage signage should be designed in a way that it respects the age, architecture, and scale of historic building as well as the historic nature of the overall streetscape.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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