Amid Terror Threat, Odisha Stands up to Secure Puri Temple Town - The New Indian Express

Amid Terror Threat, Odisha Stands up to Secure Puri Temple Town

Published: 23rd April 2014 08:11 AM

Last Updated: 23rd April 2014 10:42 AM

The State Government on Tuesday decided to take a series of measures including issuing identity cards to sevayats (servitors) to ward off suspicious elements from entering Jagannath temple at Puri.

Apart from enhancing the temple security, measures will be taken to remove unauthorised structures from around the temple and demolish buildings which were declared unsafe, Chief Administrator of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Arabinda Padhee told reporters after a meeting with Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra.

Padhee reportedly briefed the Chief Secretary about the security apparatus in place and the measures needed to be taken in view of the threat from some terrorist organisations to the 12th century shrine.

“Implementation of the proposed I-Card system will be made in consultation with the sevayats,” Padhee said.

While some of the unauthorised structures around the temple have been removed, steps will be taken to make the temple surrounding free from encroachments. Besides, unsafe buildings will be demolished to create a safe environment for the pilgrims and tourists, he added.

Padhee said identity proof will be made mandatory for tourists seeking accommodation in various hotels, guest houses, mutts and lodgings in the temple town.

Instructions have been issued to the Director of Tourism to verify the identity of the visitors during inspection of hotels and guest houses in Puri. Hotels and guest houses violating these mandatory norms will be taken to task and their licenses will be cancelled. The hotel owners and their staff will be sensitised on such security related matters.

Experts from the local tourism office, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) will  be involved in the process to ensure safety of the tourists.

The Government instructions will be made applicable to other places of tourist importance, said a release from the Tourism department.

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