Ekamra Kshetra, Konark heritage plans get NMA nod

The NMA in its special agenda meeting held earlier this month approved construction of a heritage park (which was earlier proposed as cultural plaza),
Sun Temple at Konark has received the go-ahead for the State government’s ambitious heritage development and beautification plan | Express
Sun Temple at Konark has received the go-ahead for the State government’s ambitious heritage development and beautification plan | Express

BHUBANESWAR: More than a year after being launched, the State government’s ambitious heritage development and beautification plans at Ekamra Kshetra in Bhubaneswar and around Sun Temple at Konark have received the go-ahead from the Culture Ministry’s National Monument Authority (NMA).
It also suggested a few structural changes keeping in view the safety of Lingaraj shrine, temples in its periphery and water tanks besides, the Konark temple.

For both Ekamra Kshetra and Konark Heritage Area Development Plans, the Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation Limited (OBCC) - the executing agency - submitted the detailed project reports to NMA in March this year.

The NMA in its special agenda meeting held earlier this month approved construction of a heritage park (which was earlier proposed as cultural plaza), Lingaraj multimodal hub, an entrance plaza for Lingaraj temple, Kedar Gauri plaza, Lingaraj haat and a bhajan mandap in the prohibited zone of the Lingaraj Temple.

It also recommended construction of an alternate alignment for the road widening between Makareswar Temple and Papanasini tank may be proposed by OBCC in consultation with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to minimise the adverse impact on the protected monuments in the area. No work, however, will be done for development of Sari Deula till excavation at the site is underway.

Similarly, a rain garden, landscape plaza, shuttle pick up and drop facility, shuttle lane have been permitted in the prohibited area of Sun Temple as these public amenities are permitted under the exception clause to the definition of construction under Section 2(dc) of AMASR Act, 1958.

The NMA also granted permission for construction of a foot-over-bridge with escalators and ramps for differently-abled visitors, a multi-modal transit hub, boulevard, landscaped plaza and information centre in the regulated area of the 13th century World Heritage Site.

The NMA mandated that all works in both the protected monuments be carried out under the supervision of ASI, said NMA Chairman Sachchidand Joshi, adding that all new structures proposed to be constructed in the prohibited area may be temporary structures wherever feasible. Besides, no heavy machinery can be used to mitigate adverse impact by vibrations on the protected monuments. In case of Ekamra Kshetra, JCBs were used to dig up the land in the prohibited zone of the Lingaraj temple for the project.

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