Historic Idgah ground gasps for life

Cuttack: Due to negligence or lack of government empathy, the historic Idgah ground here lies unattended.

The first general meeting of the Utkal Sammelani to press for a separate state was convened here on 30th and 31st December in 1903 by the prides of Orissa like Madhusudan Das, Fakir Mohan Senapati and Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati.

Ironically, the historic site still remains in ruins even if Utkal Diwas is being observed across the state to commemorate the occasion.

“The (Idgah) ground today is far away from the ground that was there on 1st April in 1903. The sacred ground of Odisha has been occupied by various influential people”, said President of the Utkal Sammeelani Anniversary Committee Annada Prasad Rai.

There is nothing other than a memory post in the ground to remember the historic meeting. Even the 14 acre ground has turned into a dump yard and has been illegally encroached by people.

“Utkal Sammeelani had proposed for a nine storey underground building where memoirs of eminent Odia personalities will be showcased. Though our proposal has been received officially, no steps have been taken in this regard”, said Vice-president of Cuttack district Utkal Sammeelani Dr Rabi Ranjan Sahu.