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Subadh Kumar Nayak

Bhubaneswar: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) jointly began a demolition drive at decades-old Lingaraj Market complex in the Old Town here on Friday.

Four JCB machines were engaged by the authorities for the demolition drive which began as per a prior notice. One platoon of police force has been deployed at the spot to avoid occurrences of any untoward incident.

Meanwhile, the shopkeepers expressed unhappiness over the demolition drive. "The authorities informed about their decision to raze the structures just two days ago and suddenly went ahead with the move today. Many of us did not get the information on time which is why we have not been able to move out," said a local shopkeeper.

"The concerned minister had earlier informed that the demolition drive will begin only after all of us were provided alternative place for houses/business, but of the total 38 traders, only 6 have been given compensation so far," he added.

It is worthwhile to mention here that in 2013, the BMC had earlier declared the market complex as 'unsafe and in a dilapidated state'. Later, it announced to demolish the establishment.

The civic body had asked the traders to shift their business at the new market complex established by the Odisha Tourism Development Corporation behind the Anantavasudev Temple. However, the businessmen had protested the move and sought more time.

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