Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday felicitated 11 persons who came forward to accept the Odisha government's package for vacating their land and houses to ensure security of the Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri.
Earlier, Patnaik had appealed to the people of Puri to volunteer in vacating their houses for the safety of the 12th century shrine.
The CM gave away silver filigree images of the idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra to the 11 persons.
"People of Odisha will be indebted to you for this," Patnaik was quoted saying in a statement released by the Chief Minister's Office.
Asserting that the state government has been offering a good rehabilitation package, Patnaik urged others to avail the benefits of the scheme and cooperate with the administration in strengthening the security of the temple.
"Your sacrifice will add a new history in the service of Lord Jagannath. The future generations of Odisha will remember your sacrifice," he said.
The state government had recently launched an eviction drive in areas within 75 metre from the temple's boundary wall.