Culture Ministry withdraws draft heritage bylaws for Sri Jagannath temple at Puri

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanded rollback of the draft heritage bylaws for Sri Jagannath temple by the National Monument Authority.

Published: 08th February 2021 02:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2021 10:01 AM   |  A+A-

Prahlad Singh Patel, Union culture minister

The delegations of BJP and BJD leaders meeting with Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel. (Photo | Twitter)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR/PURI: The Centre on Monday announced the withdrawal of the draft heritage bylaws for Sri Jagannath temple at Puri. The bylaws notified by the National Monument Authority (NMA), proposing restrictions on constructions and developmental works along the temple periphery had triggered a Statewide outrage.

The announcement was made by Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel after delegations of BJP and BJD leaders met him separately, demanding the withdrawal of the draft rules.“The notification on heritage bylaws was released without the knowledge of the NMA Chairman and is withdrawn with immediate effect” Patel tweeted after his meeting with the BJP delegation, which included Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Pratap Chandra Sarangi.

The BJD MPs led by Bhatruhari Mahatab also met the Minister soon after. Patel informed the MPs that decision to withdraw the draft notification has already been taken and any further work on it will be done after consultations with all stakeholders. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited the Sri Jagannath temple, his first after the outbreak of coronavirus, and offered prayers to the Holy Trinity. 

“No one can stop the work of Lord Jagannath. I thank the people of Puri who have sacrificed their lands for the development of Srimandir. The sacrifices will not go waste,” he said after having darshan, while asking the Centre to withdraw the draft bylaws. In the evening, the NMA released a notification stating that the draft bylaws for Sri Jagannath temple has been withdrawn due to “technical glitches.” 

The TNIE first reported on the notification of the draft bylaws by NMA seeking objections and suggestions on them by February 18, which evoked strong criticism from all quarters with political parties cutting across party lines decrying the move. Union Minister Pradhan had stepped in, calling upon Patel to scrap the move while the ruling BJD had termed it an attempt to derail the developmental works being undertaken by the State government around Srimandir. The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration had also dashed off a letter to NMA seeking withdrawal of the bylaws.

The BJP MPs from Odisha in their representation to the Union Minister on Monday said the Odisha government, authorities of Srimandir, Ananta Vasudev and Brahmeswar temples have certain genuine issues and concerns which need to be addressed before finalisations of such bylaws. They called for proper consultation with all stakeholders before taking any decision.

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