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Suryakant Jena

Puri: Amid uproar among residents opposing the eviction of encroachments within 75 metres of Meghanad Pacheri of Puri Jagannath Temple, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today appealed the people affected by the eviction drive to give up their land and allow removal of the structures in order to ensure safety and security of the temple.

In a review meeting on the infrastructure development of the pilgrim town, Naveen said that safety of Lord Jagannath and his siblings and Srimandir is the responsibility of Odia people.

Keeping in view the escalating terror threats across the world, the security of the 12th century shrine is highly essential and therefore security measures are needed to be strengthened, said the CM.

The CM further said that in order to ensure safety and security of Srimandir, some structures in the security zone around the temple will be cleared. As a result, many families will be affected. Citing that the step is necessary for the safety of Srimandir at present and also in the coming years, Naveen urged the residents living around Srimandir to sacrifice their land in the service of the Lord and co-operate with the government.

Naveen also assured rehabilitation for people who will lose their houses and shops due to eviction in the demarcated security zone. He also said that the State Government will also cooperate in re-establishment of the mutts that will be demolished in the process.

Earlier on August 16, the Odisha Cabinet had approved Justice BP Das Commission’s recommendations which included removal of structures around the temple up to 75 metres from the boundary of Puri Jagannath temple on all sides to facilitate free movement of devotees and safety of the temple.

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