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Suryakant Jena

Puri: The district administration on Tuesday began eviction drive to remove dilapidated and unauthorised structures from Puri 'Swargadwar' as part of the State government’s plan for a major face-lift of the crematorium on the lines of Mahaprasthanam crematorium in Andhra Pradesh.

The demolition of an age-old complex of 'Patha Shraaddha' in the premises of the crematorium was carried out today in presence of district administration and police officials.

Reportedly, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik had announced last month to take up extensive developmental works at the crematorium which is the most sought-after place for people to perform the last rites of their family members. Patnaik had also sanctioned Rs 5 crore in the first phase to develop infra at Swargadwar.

Under the plan, a detailed makeover of the boundary of the crematorium, beautification of the entrance gate, restroom for the pallbearers, elevated platforms for cremation of bodies, facilities for collection and conservation of mortal remains besides afforestation have been proposed to be taken up at the crematorium. Apart from this, steps will be taken to ensure cremation during rainy days.

It is also being said that Odisha government has decided to remove the memorial of former chief minister Biju Patnaik from Swargadwar as part of the crematorium's proposed facelift. However, sources said a plaque will be erected on the boundary wall of the crematorium.

It may be noted that apart from blatant encroachment of the crematorium land, bereaved people who used to come to the Swargadwar often complained about poor facilities at the place.

A blueprint was recently released by the government on the structural design of Puri Swargadwar. This is how the crematorium will look following the face-lift.

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