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Odishatv Bureau

Puri: In a bid to enhance security, the Jagannath temple administration on Sunday announced to evict business establishments and shops from near ‘Meghnad Pachery’ or the temple wall.

The decision comes in the wake of some reformative guidelines suggested by the National Security Guard (NSG) audit to strengthen security and safety of the ancient shrine.

The audit report by NSG suggested that there are chances of lapses especially in terms of security and so shoe centres, sweet shops near the temple where people generally crowd are more vulnerable.

Speaking on the new development, Puri SP Sarthak Sarangi said, the decision is aimed at ensuring better security for the temple and welfare of tourists as well. “Since the footfalls have increased and accordingly the vehicular and pedestrian traffic have also markedly risen, we have decided to introduce some changes in the system,” he said.

"As part of some new guidelines suggested by NSG we have decided to remove all establishments within 100 m of the wall. So tourists will be asked to keep their shoes near Singhadwar police station. We have also decided to extend the shed till ‘Singhadwar’ so people do not have to bear much problem and they can easily keep their shoes and come to temple," Sarangi said.

Meanwhile, apprehensive local traders said they are open to cooperate with the temple administration but have urge it to make alternative arrangements for loss of their businesses. "We are ready to move out but the temple administration should also think about us and our families and accordingly provide us opportunities for business elsewhere," a local sweet vendor said.

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