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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Amidst the ongoing resentment over eviction near Lingaraj temple, Odisha government on Thursday announced a special package for peripheral development of the shrine and rehabilitation of affected stakeholders. Besides, a committee has been set up to formulate a special act for Lingaraj temple.

The Law department has set up a special committee which also include advisors who have knowledge about the rituals and other functioning of the temple. The committee will hold discussion with all the servitors, informed minister Ashok Panda.

As per the decision, the street vendors, who will lose their livelihood, will get one-time financial assistance of Rs 30,000 and they will be rehabilitated to a designated vending zone.

The traders having pucca shops will get monthly assistance of Rs 10,000 for 11 months and they will be either rehabilitated in the existing market complexes of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) & the Tourism department or at the new market complexes which are in the pipeline.

At a high-level meeting, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik also announced the launch of ‘Ekamra Kshetra’ yojana which will come up in 66 acre of land around Lingaraj temple.

The plan envisages all around development, beautification, revival of historic Bindusagar, construction of pathways, modernised parking, Lingaraj historic project, development of Kedargauri and Mukteswar temples among others. A total of nine projects including e-auto programme and an interpretation centre will be developed under the ambitious plan.

To ease the flow of traffic and facilitate arrival of devotees, the existing Lingaraj Police Station and office of the temple trust board will be relocated. A road will be constructed from Taleswar chhak to Badheibanka chhak.

There will be parking provisions at four places including one in front of Lingaraj temple along with a pathway to facilitate movement of devotees around the temple. The entry and movement of vehicles on the main road in front of the temple will be banned.

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