BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to protect Jagannath Temple from global terror and develop the Pilgrim Town into a World Heritage City, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday appealed to the people to cooperate with the State Government’s endeavours in this regard.
“Terrorism poses a big challenge to the world. Terrorists have no religion. They are targeting different religious institutions. Therefore, it is essential to take measures to secure the temple,” the Chief Minister said.
In order to insulate the 12th century shrine from terror designs, Naveen stressed on making its boundary free of obstructing structures. In this regard, the State Government has decided to evict people and demolish all structures within 75-metre radius of the temple’s boundary wall, he added.
Appreciating the concern of the people to be affected by the Government measures, the Chief Minister said pursuit of greater goal calls for sacrifices. “It is a fact that some people will be affected by the eviction drive around the temple. However, I appeal to them to cooperate and come forward to make sacrifices for the security of the temple,” he said.
The Chief Minister also announced a special package of `500 crore for development of Puri after chairing a high level meeting at the Lok Seva Bhavan here. This is the second such big announcement by the Chief Minister for Puri which was battered by the very severe cyclonic storm Fani on May 3.
The package announced by the Chief Minister focuses on a range of modernisation plans including infrastructure, multi-lane roads, bridges, multi-level parkings, amenities for pilgrims, revival of Musa river, rehabilitation of those evicted from the security zone and renovation of lakes. He had recently announced various projects worth `265 crore for Puri under the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme.
According to the decisions taken at the meeting, a new link road from Puri bypass at Malatipatapur to Jagannath Ballav Math will be constructed at a cost of `190 crore. This 1.5- km long iconic link will be connected by a trumpet bridge named as Shree Setu Project. The Jagannath Ballav Math will be developed as an attractive pilgrim centre with multi-level car parking, amenities, commercial and meditation space at a cost of `180 crore. Musa river will be revived and connected to Mangala river at a cost of `85 crore.
Focus will be on restoring natural ecology, recreational activities at river edge, green wage and network to lakes.
Besides, Atharnala will be developed as an iconic pedestrian heritage bridge with the support of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). A lake will be developed on 28 acre of land at a cost of `35 crore. Official sources said as the Maths of Puri have a traditional link with the temple rituals, the Government is careful for seamless continuation of this special tradition. Therefore, the Maths coming under security zone will be relocated. The Chief Minister stressed on the conservation of ancient artefacts of the Maths.
Shops and houses coming under security zone will be shifted. In addition to the rehabilitation package, the Government will provide houses and shops to the affected as the case may be. Many heritage lakes of Puri such as Sweta Ganga, Markanda, Narendra and Indradyumna will be renovated and heritage sites will be preserved.
The Chief Minister directed to complete all these projects in two years which would be executed by the
Odisha Bridge and Construction Corporation (OBCC). Law Minister Pratap Jena, Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy, Development Commissioner Suresh Mohapatra, Director General of Police BK Sharma and Chief Administrator of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration Dr Krishan Kumar were present.