Sharmili Mallick

Puri: The ongoing eviction drive from Puri's Swargadwar has left many bereaved families reaching there to complete the final rites of the dead in lurch.

According to reports, the age-old ‘Patha Shraddha’ complex was demolished as part of the eviction drive being carried out by the State government to give the place a facelift on the lines of Mahaprasthanam crematorium in Andhra Pradesh.

Due to the chaos inside the complex, the bereaved families reaching there have been complaining about not being able to complete the last rites of their relatives owing to the prevailing chaos. They have reportedly not been able to complete the 'patha shradhha' (homage) and other rites.

Siba Tripathy, a pallbearer, said, "Due to lack of facilities for performing 'patha shraddha', we faced a lot of problems. I think the government should have first made alternative arrangements and then carried out the eviction. There might be big plans to make the place impressive and more presentable, but people like us coming from far off places are forced to perform rituals outside and that is unacceptable."

"Of the 100 dead bodies that come here for cremation everyday, 'patha shradhha' is being offered to 30 or 40. The structure that was earmarked for the shraddha has been demolished so we are performing the rituals in the middle of the cremation ground," said a priest at Swargadwar, Sunil Dash.

Sub- Collector Bhabataran Sahu said the demolition is happening in one place while there is a lot of space for the rites to be conducted. "As part of the ongoing development work in Swargadwar, the ‘Patha Shraddha’ complex and other old structures were razed. However, the construction of the complex has begun and it will be over soon," stated Sahu.

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