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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: BJP’s National Spokesperson, Sambit Patra on Friday sought the intervention of Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel in connection with the alleged illegal plotting and sale of Bagala Dharmashala land in Puri.

In his memorandum submitted to the Minister, Patra alleged that Puri Collector has sold the Dharmashala land by dividing it illegally. “I have presented all facts before the Union Minister and he has assured to look into the matter,” said Patra.

One Babu Kanheyalal Bagala had constructed a Dharmashala in Puri Town at Balagandi over a plot of Ac 2.547 decimal in 1904 and donated the land to Puri Collector in 1905.

According to Patra, the land was donated to Puri Collector so that accommodation can be provided to pilgrims at cheaper rates and the Dharmashala can be operated without any financial assistance from the State government.

'On July 24, 2018, Odisha government’s, Housing and Urban Development Department brought it under the central-assisted PRASA D YOJANA for which a sum of Rs 20 crore was sanctioned after obtaining no objection certificate from the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration and the renovation work of the Dharmashala was in progress.'

In the meantime, the State Government repealed the Odisha Places of Pilgrimages Act, 1920 and dissolved the Lodging House Fund Committee, Patra said in his representation to the Union Minister.

“The most unfortunate part is that, since the Act was repealed, the Collector & District Magistrate of Puri, Balwant Singh illegally and highhandedly, by overstepping his position stopped the renovation work and secretly sold land to private hotelier,” Patra said.

Meanwhile, the district administration officials are yet to respond on the matter.

(Edited By Bikram Keshari Jena)

Also Read: Puri Bagala Dharmashala Land Row: Odisha Congress Alleges Massive Scam

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