Culturally significant Puri being neglected by State govt: Gajapati

Puri: Despite being a culturally significant place, Puri is not being given due importance that it deserves from the State government, said Puri king, Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb.

While addressing a special program here today, Deb said that a lot of projects are being planned and announced, but nothing gets implemented. Lord Jagannath cannot vote, hence ignored, he quipped.

While criticizing the callous approach being shown towards the city, the King informed that Puri has been selected from among the 10 heritage cities in the country where the Icon City project is being implemented. However, a lot of discussions and deliberations in this regard need to be done with various religious institutions and experts, opined Deb.

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“Puri is one among the 10 centres of cultural significance and Nalco has been given the responsibility of development of Puri under the Iconic City initiative. A lot of work can be done but the big question is implementation. There have been a lot of big initiatives which were announced and funds are approved for, but we are not seeing implementation on ground,” said Deb.

Reacting to Deb’s statements, Odisha Tourism minister Ashok Panda said “Whatever comments the Gajapati made, it was his personal opinion and I have nothing to comment.”

Deb found support from Congress’ Niranjan Patranik who said “Hundreds of crores of Rupees were approved during Nabakalebar, however, it was not spent judiciously. The works are still pending. There is a haphazard approach towards the city’s roads, drainage and civic infrastructure. Whatever the Puri King pointed out is justified”

“I think the best way would be that the CM himself should hold discussions with the Puri King and resolve all the issue pertaining to the Sri Mandir and the Lord Jagannath,” said BJP leader, Biswa Bhushan Harichandan.

However, Puri MLA, Maheswar Mohanty responded to the Puri King saying, “Gajapati’s consultation is necessary and if someone is not doing it they it is not acceptable. However, if the King is saying that Puri is being neglected, then it is not an apt remark from him.”

Talking to OTV later in the day, the Puri King clarified “A lot of things have been done for Puri and the Jagannath Temple. However, there are a lot of things which still needs to be done. We are expecting, that the Srimandir Commission will soon submit its report and whatever was not done in the past 56 years, can hopefully be implemented. I hope that the State government does not delay the implementation of the Srimandir Commission’s recommendations.”

The Puri King also urged all the stakeholders to give their suggestions to the commissions and informed that he himself will give his opinions to the panel.