Dist admn resumes demolition drive

Cuttack: After a two-day lull, the district administration on Thursday resumed its fourth phase of demolition drive of illegal religious structures in Cuttack amid protests from locals.

According to reports, the anti-encroachment team pulled down the Bharat Mata mutt and Asharam Bapu ashram in CDA area early in the morning. The officials engaged in the drive faced strong resentment from a large number of devotees as well as local residents despite the Tuesday High Court order setting aside a review petition filed in this regard.

The petition had sought reconsideration of the court’s previous order to demolish unauthorized religious structures that have come up on government lands in the millennium city.

The district administration which had earlier razed about fifteen such structures in the city, aims to demolish Radha Krishna temple and Rama temple in the CDA area before winding up the day’s exercise.

While six bulldozers are pressed into service, as many as 10 platoons of force and 62 officials have been engaged in the drive, officials said.

The administration has taken up the drive that would free the historic city’s around 50 acres of prime government land, usurped by over 200 unauthorised religious structures that have come up on public roads and on the banks of rivers Mahanadi and Kathjodi within the Cuttack Municipal Corporation area since 1987.