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A Breather for Mahanadi Club

General body meeting of the Club to decide proposed IDCO tower on its land cancelled

Published: 20th October 2014 06:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th October 2014 06:06 AM   |  A+A-

SAMBALPUR: The annual general body meeting of Mahanadi Club, which was scheduled to be held on Sunday to take a final call on handing over land for construction of the proposed IDCO tower, was cancelled due to administrative issues.

The decision to establish an 11-storey commercial tower on the Mahanadi Club land by IDCO sparked off strong resentment with heritage watchdog INTACH leading the protest against the project.

A 120-year-old entity, the Mahanadi Club has acquired the status of a heritage site by virtue of the age of the structure and existence of a 200-year old banyan tree.

Turning a blind eye to its heritage status, the Mahanadi Club, in its annual general meeting on September 21, considered the IDCO proposal for the commercial project.

But the move infuriated the INTACH which in its September 27 meeting expressed shock and surprise.

Sources said the club members are divided over the issue after Chief General Manager Ratan Agrawal, Divisional Head, Sambalpur Sushanta Kumar Jena and Manager Sanjeeb Panda made a presentation on the project. While senior members are not happy with the move of the district administration, the younger members are believed to have accepted the proposal.

Sources said with the RDC (North) as its ex-officio president, DIG (North) ex-officio vice-president and SP ex-officio secretary, many members did not dare question the decision.

While district administration has failed to restore the original building constructed in 1896, its conversion is being opposed by INTACH. Even retired bureaucrats, who were presidents of the Club in the past, have expressed reservation on the decision.

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