Confusion looms over Puri Swargadwara expansion plans

Puri: At a time when the State Government is planning to go for a makeover of the existing Swargadwara by carrying out mega expansion, a controversy over a proposal to build another crematorium in the city is delaying the prospects, which many feel is being done purposefully.

After the plans of Swargadwar expansion were outlined, the Puri Municipality came out with a proposal for second crematorium in the city.

The proposals for the second crematorium were discussed at the civic body meeting, informed the Chairman of the Puri Municipality, Jayant Mohapatra.

“At present there is a heavy load for conducting last rites at Swargadwara and in bid to reduce the load, many councillors have proposed for a second crematorium,” said Mohapatra.

Interestingly however, a lot of councillors opposed the decision for setting up a second crematorium in the city.

“Swargadwara is one of the important places for conducting the last rites for Hindus. How can there be a second Swargadwara? We will oppose the decision of the civic body,” said Sabyasachi Mohapatra, a councillor.

Another councillor, Gaurahari Pradhan said that the civic body officials without a detailed discussion have forwarded the proposals to the state government.

On the other hand, many feel that the proposal of a second crematorium is being pushed forward in a bid to stall expansion of Swargadwara which essentially would lead to demolition of several hotels that have come up illegally in the vicinity.

The Urban development department has already written to Puri Konark Development Authority (PKDA) officials to complete acquisition of the government land. Though PKDA had earlier asked for land acquisition for expansion of Swargadwar, it has made tardy progress in this regard.

“PKDA is busy in preliminary works for the expansion of Swargadwara including for preparing a detailed estimate of land to be acquired for the project, said Puri Additional District Magistrate, Bibhuti Bhusan Das.