Vikash Sharma

Puri: A day after Puri district administration undertook a massive demarcation process, local residents including women today staged a demonstration against the ongoing demolition drive within an area up to 75 mts from the boundary wall of the Jagannath Temple.

The locals staged a demonstration at Gandua Chaura and have categorically denied vacating their homes and shops.

“Where we will go if our houses are demolished? We will die, but not vacate our property. What is the need to demolish all the structures behind the temple?” said an agitator.

The residents of Baseli Sahi, Harchandi Sahi, Balisahi and Manikarnika Sahi participated in the protest today. Later, local MLA Jayanta Sarangi along with the residents met Puri Collector.

“After getting information, I visited the spot and later arranged a meeting with the district administration. I am personally not against any development, but it should not be at cost of people,” said Sarangi.

Puri Collector, Balwant Singh, on the other hand, stated that “The State government has undertaken special plans to develop the Jagannath Dham and enhance security of the temple and devotees. We hope that with Lord’s blessings, we will be able to convince people with the rehabilitation package.”