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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has assured that the heritage bylaws proposed by the National Monuments Authority (NMA) for Puri Jagannath temple will not hinder the developments of the shrine, informed Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday.

Pradhan held discussion with the union culture minister after coming across the news about NMA coming up with heritage bylaws prohibiting any construction activity in the 100 metre periphery for Sri Jagannath Temple and eight other structures of immense archaeological value.

“The bylaws are restrictive in nature and more time and consideration should be given on matters of such religious importance,” Pradhan wrote in a tweet.

He further tweeted that the union minister has assured that the Centre will not take any steps that may hinder the development of Srimandir and in anyway interfere with local sentiments.

Pradhan also requested the Culture Minister to publish these draft bylaws in Odia which are currently written in Hindi and English. “He (Prahlad Singh Patel) assured me to uphold the best interest of the people of Odisha with highest regards for the sentiments of Lord Jagannath's devotees,” the Union Steel Minister informed through tweet.

The draft Heritage Bylaws of Centrally Protected Monument Shri Jagannath Temple and subsidiary shrines together with adjacent area in Puri have been prepared by NMA as per Section 20(E) of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 2010 and Rule 18 of National Monuments Authority (Appointment, Function and Conduct of Business) Rules, 2011.

The bylaws have been uploaded on the websites National Monuments Authority www.nma.gov.in, Archaeological Survey of India www.asi.nic.in and Archaeological Survey of India, Bhubaneswar Circle www.asibbsrcircle.in.

The authority has invited suggestion or comments on the bylaws for a period of 30 days i.e. 18th February 2021.

Meanwhile, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) held discussion over the heritage bylaws and decided to draw attention of the National Monuments Authority in this regard.

On the other hand, Srimandir servitors have opposed the draft heritage bylaws.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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