Odisha to clear structures around Puri Srimandir for safety of devotees

Bhubaneswar: In a major decision, Odisha government today decided to implement certain recommendations of Justice B.P. Das Commission regarding the safety and security of devotees at Puri Srimandir.

At a meeting held on Friday, the Odisha Cabinet approved the decision to implement Commission’s recommendations made in its first interim report which includes removal of structures around the temple up to 75 metres from the boundary on all sides to facilitate free movement of devotees and safety of the temple.

“The Commission had recommended keeping three passages for devotees along the boundary wall within 75mts of the temple. Hence, Puri Collector will be authorised to initiate a series of actions including survey, demarcation and acquisition of required land,” said Development Commissioner, Asit Tripathy.

Tripathy further stated that a redevelopment plan will be created for the rehabilitation of the affected persons including institutions as well as vendors.

The cabinet meeting also approved the proposal to set up a statutory Maritime Board in a bid to give impetus to ports and provide necessary logistic support keeping in view massive development in mines and minerals, oil refining and gas and power sectors.

Odisha Martime Board, which will be headed by the chief secretary, will have 12 members. The Board will basically work to ensure better administration, control and management of non-major ports and non-nationalised inland waterways.

It is pertinent to mention here that Odisha government had earlier passed a Bill in 2011 for the constitution of Maritime Board but it was withdrawn for addition of more provisions.

Odisha Maritime Board will act as a single window facilitator for the overall maritime development of the State by setting up policies, guidelines and directions for the integrated development of ports and inland water transport in view of country’s security and defence-related concerns.

The Odisha Cabinet also approved the financial restructuring of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC). As a result, the old dues of OSRTC and State government will be settled permanently. Besides, the accumulated loss of Rs 169.93 crore will be taken up against the Share Capital in a phased manner.

Official sources said once the losses are adjusted, OSRTC can approach financial institutions for taking up commercially-viable projects to provide better amenities to its passengers.