PURI: Collector Aravind Agarwal on Tuesday directed the Executive Officer of Puri Municipality to reclaim portions of Swargadwar land that were illegally allotted to small shops and commercial establishments.
In a letter to the officer, Agarwal pointed out that in the eighties the district administration had handed over 900 decimals of Swargadwar land to Puri Municipality for upkeep and other development works. In 1988, the district administration acquired another 100 decimals of land from private persons near Swargadwar, taking the total land area of the funeral ground to one acre. Subsequently, the civic body allotted a major area of the funeral ground to shops and commercial establishments which reduced the one acre of Swargadwar land to just 465 decimals. As a result of this, people are forced to wait for several hours to find a spot in Swargadwar in order to perform last rites of their relatives. The Collector has asked the Puri Municipality to cancel all the illegal allotment and restore the Swargadwar land at the earliest.