Odisha Cabinet’s decision to remove structures around Puri Srimandir opposed

Puri:  The decision of Odisha Government to implement certain recommendations of Justice B.P. Das Commission regarding the safety and security of devotees at Puri Srimandir sparked widespread resentment among servitors as well as local residents on Saturday.

The resentment is particularly over the decision of removal of structures around the temple up to 75 meters from the boundary on all sides of the Srimandir to facilitate free movement of devotees as recommended by the B.P.Das Commission. Odisha Cabinet on Friday approved to implement the recommendations of the Commission.

“A lot of important offices, houses and other religious institutions are located within 75mts along the boundary wall of Puri Srimandir. It seems that the Commission has not conducted proper review of the existing infrastructure. We urge Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik to reconsider such decision and immediately depute a committee to review things,” said Binayak Das Mohapatra, senior servitor.

Mohapatra further stated that, “As there is apprehension that it may trigger public outrage, we will move court as attempts have been made to distort the historical importance of the pilgrim city.

As per official sources the Commission has recommended to keep three passages for devotees along the boundary wall within 75mts of the 12th century shrine. Puri Collector will be authorised to initiate a series of actions including survey, demarcation and acquisition of required land for implementing the recommendations.

Senior officials informed that a redevelopment plan will be created for the rehabilitation of the affected persons including institutions as well as vendors.