NHAI yet to pay compensation for temple land given in 2012: Iskcon

Bhubaneswar: The Iskcon temple authorities today refuted allegations of encroachment saying that the land upon which the demolition was carried out belonged to Iskcon. Rather, the NHAI has defaulted in paying up compensation for the temple land acquired by it for road widening, they alleged.

The authorities also clarified that none of their members were part of the protest during the demolition drive executed by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) authorities on Saturday.

“The NHAI, in 2012, acquired 315 decimal land from us for widening of the National Highway. But the compensation amount towards the land is yet to reach us,” informed Regional Secretary of Iskcon, Banmali Dash.

“When we queried about the cause of delay, the Land Acquisition officer of NHAI informed us that the compensation was ‘disbursed to the Endowment Commissioner by indexing Iskcon temple’ and that there was some confusion,” added Dash.

The Iskcon later approached the court which directed the authorities concerned to pay up but the money along with interest calculated over the years. However the money is yet to reach the temple management, rued the members in a presser.

On Saturday, a scuffle ensued between Iskcon followers and the police as the former tried to prevent demolition of the Samadhi Peeth of Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja in front of the temple

The angry mob pelted stones at the squad forcing the cops to resort to mild lathicharge.

Earlier on July 25, the BMC had issued so cause notice to the temple to explain the “unauthorized and illegal” encroachment made by them on the road and inside the premises that  prevented the proper drainage of rain water causing insanitary conditions in the area.