Odishatv Bureau

Puri: In a significant move, following the much hue and cry over the land grabbing of Swargadwar, the famous crematorium in the holy town here, the district administration on Wednesday reclaimed 51 decimal of land, belonging to the crematorium.

Official sources said, the reclaimed land has been transferred to the Puri Municipality.

“Swargadwar was set up in 1985 with the government allotting 900 decimal. In 1988, another hundred decimal was acquired for expansion of the crematorium. Due to some or the other reason the variety of this 51 decimal of land was not changed and hence it could not be transferred to the record of Swargadwar. After vetting the old land records, we have reclaimed the land,” said Puri tehsildar Prabir Khilar.

The official stated that the eviction drive will continue around the crematorium in the coming days to reclaim more land belonging to Swargadwar.

On Monday the district administration began the process of demolishing unauthorised constructions around hallowed Swargadwar crematorium, periphery of which was grabbed by several influential persons since decades.

Official sources said, while Swargadwar is spread over one acre facing the sea, nearly 15 acre around it has been encroached by influential persons. The sources added the 16 acre originally belonged to Jagannath temple while Puri Shankaracharya was the caretaker of the property. Subsequently, influential people grabbed the land and constructed some hotels and shops around Swargadwar.