Puri Srimandir vicinity declared ‘no parking zone’; street vendors oppose

Puri: After conclusion of the Rath Yatra, the Puri district administration has declared the entire area around Puri Srimandir as ‘no parking zone.’ Barricades have been installed near Badadanda to restrict two and four-wheeler vehicle parking near the 12th century shrine.

However, the affected street vendors have opposed the eviction drive alleging that there was no clear demarcation of parking lots and they have not been provided necessary rehabilitation.

“I have been doing business for the last 20 to 25 years. Like every year, we had shifted the shop for Rath Yatra. But after the Suna Besha and other rituals, we are not being allowed to do our business here,” said Jashobant Patra, a street vendor.

Patra further said that the administration should take necessary steps for their rehabilitation.

However, the district administration officials maintained that such measures have been undertaken for security and ensuring that devotees coming to Puri Srimandir do not face any difficulties.

“As devotees from across the country visit Puri on a daily basis, we have restricted the movement of traffic and it has been marked as no vending zone to ensure that there are no snarls,” said Puri Sub-collector, Bhabataran Sahu.

Sahu further stated that the matter is being discussed with all the stakeholders including street vendors and steps will be taken for their rehabilitation. We are collecting data on the number of shops, their employees and servitors so that necessary steps will be taken, he added.