BJD hits back at Opposition over Srimandir Parikrama project

Mishra said as the Advocate General informed that the State government has differences on some issues mentioned by the ASI in its affidavit, the High Court has given it time to file counter affidavit.

Published: 11th May 2022 07:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2022 07:46 AM   |  A+A-

BJD flag, Biju Janata Dal

Representational photo of Biju Janata Dal flag (Photo| Special Arrangement)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Opposition political parties targeted the State government for carrying out construction work under the Srimandir Parikrama project without the permission of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the ruling BJD on Tuesday questioned the basis on which such criticism was levelled after the High Court ignored the demand for a stay order.

Coming down heavily on the Opposition, BJD MP from Puri Pinaki Mishra said the State government is proceeding with the project within the purview of law. The Puri MP said the ASI maintained in its affidavit that construction work on lavatories and drains can continue as these are outside the purview of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR Act). Besides, the Advocate General had informed the High Court that the National Monuments Authority (NMA) had given no objection certificate for these works on September 4, 2021.

Mishra said as the Advocate General informed that the State government has differences on some issues mentioned by the ASI in its affidavit, the High Court has given it time to file counter affidavit. Stating that the people of Puri support the project, Mishra said lakhs of devotees coming for darshan of Lord Jagannath face immense difficulties for lack of amenities. He said the construction of lavatories and other amenities are being done for the benefit of the devotees.

Meanwhile, BJP MP from Bhubaneswar Aparajita Sarangi who has been vehemently opposing the “illegal” construction of the Puri corridor project said the joint inspection report of the central agency before the Orissa High Court on Monday exposed the wrongdoings of the State government.“The joint inspection note filed by ASI, as part of its affidavit, in the Odisha High Court, is worth reading.Very meticulously prepared. It says all; the wrongdoings of the State Govt are crystal clear,” she tweeted.

“After filing of ASI’s affidavit before the High Court today, I am convinced that Lord Jagannath is trying to save himself and his temple from an elected state government which is hell bent upon brazenly defying the law,” she added. 

“So much of public money is being spent on forcibly creating infrastructure which could easily be created beyond 100 metre. If the structures are declared illegal tomorrow who will be responsible for wastage of hundreds of crore of rupees which is the hard-earned money of Odias?” she also said.

BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra too hit out strongly at the State government and BJD MP Mishra for misleading the Lok Sabha.  Patra said the people will not forgive those who are out to destroy the Jagannath temple. Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra said the Srimandir Parikrama Project is illegal and blamed equally the central agency for not objecting to the construction work.

Congress also did not spare the government. A senior leader of the party Narasingha Mishra said, “The ASI said it has not given any approval for construction. The HC should have issued stay orders after the ASI submitted its report.”


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