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Sanjeev Kumar Pradhan

Puri: While the pilgrim city of Puri is known for its vibrant and enticing beach that attracts lakhs of tourists and devotees every year, heaps of garbage piling on the roads have raised concerns on the deplorable condition of hygiene in the pilgrim town.

Stinking and foul smell around the town has made life miserable for denizens as neither the drains are being cleaned nor the garbage are being discarded.

Tourists who throng to pilgrim town have shown their displeasure from time to time over the poor state of hygiene.

“The water and sand is beautiful but there is so much garbage thrown in the open that it makes difficult for us to enjoy at the beach though there are specified dustbins for disposing the garbage,” a foreign tourist, Jeffrey Mayor said.

Meanwhile, locals have alleged that the Puri civic body has become mute spectator to the poor hygiene condition and is not taking any steps to improve the situation.

“The Srimandir and beach are the cleanest places in Puri but heaps of garbage can be seen on the roads. Devotees and tourists come here to have a darshan but have to face the foul smell and unhygienic condition,” a servitor, Gouri Shankar Pratihari said.

On the other hand, authorities of Puri Municipality have refuted the charges.

“After repeated awareness campaigns and enforcements the locals are disposing the garbage in the open. Special squads have been made to keep vigil on the cleanliness at the four entrances of the Srimandir as cleanliness works are being taken up daily,” Executive officer of Puri Municipality, Srikant Tarai said.

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