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Konark Residents Losing Sleep Over Displacement For Development

Konark: After a prolonged lull due to Coronavirus-induced restrictions, the State government has geared up for the peripheral development of world-famous tourism site Konark in Puri district.

As part of the mega project, eviction process has been initiated for the beautification of Chandrabhaga beach to be undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs 50 lakh. Similarly, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has also begun works on the four-laning of stretches from Chandrabhaga to Konark and Konark Labanya Lodge to Ashram School.

Meanwhile, resentment is brewing among the local residents after the revenue department carried out survey of shops and residential houses to be evicted to pave the way for the project.

According to sources, residents of 11 mouzas in Konark do not possess valid land deeds (pattas) due to settlement issue. Without pattas, they now fear losing house and livelihood.

Sukanta Mohanty, secretary of Konark Bhitamati Suraksha Samiti said, “The actual residents of 13 wards of Konark NAC, who are living here for decades, do not have pattas. The government authorities have not resolved their issues yet.”

While the locals have welcomed the Konark development project, they rued the repeated eviction by the administration for the project.

Padmacharan Beura, the president of Konark bus stand, said, “The development of Konark is a welcome step whether the funds are allocated by Centre or State government. However, the government must look into the issues of local residents. Those who are dependent on Konark for their livelihood and those maintaining their families by running shops should be rehabilitated.”

Puri Collector Balwant Singh assured that the master plan of Konark development will be executed looking at protecting the livelihood of the locals.

“There is no need to fear. The master plan will be finalised keeping in view the livelihood of all. I assure that proper rehabilitation of makeshift shop owners and other shoppers will be a part of the project.”

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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