PURI: Beginning cleaning up of the area around Sri Jagannath Temple, the Puri district administration started demolition of structures located in close proximity to the Meghnad Pracheri (temple wall) here. There was no resistance to the drive which went off smoothly.
A cloakroom, toilet complex and shoe stand were brought down on the day. Nine other structures including information stall, power supply sub-station, police outpost and Ramdaya Parishad buildings would be demolished in the coming days.
As many as 25 platoons of police force and four magistrates were deployed during the drive, supervised by Puri SP Umashankar Dash and Sub-Collector Bhabtaran Sahu. Before the drive began, the area around the temple was sealed and power supply to the structures meant to be razed disconnected.
Officials of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) were present during the drive. The ASI has approached the district administration to clear the structures near the temple wall as they pose security threat. The District Collector has been authorised to make necessary survey and demarcation before taking action to acquire land for the purpose.
Sources in the State Government said, once the assessment of structures which would be removed is compete, the State Government would come up with a rehabilitation and resettlement plan.
“The R&R plan would be different from the one which is in existence for industries and other infrastructure projects. We will adequately compensate the people whose property stand to be shifted,” sources added.
Earlier, the decision to demolish structures within 75 metre of Jagannath temple was taken on August 16. The drive would continue till all structures near the 12th century shrine are removed.
Day one of the drive was supervised by Puri SP Umashankar Dash and Sub-Collector Bhabtaran Sahu
A cloak room, toilet complex and shoe stand were brought down
Nine other structures would be demolished in the coming days