Ministry result

Odisha: Aparajita Sarangi requests the intervention of the Ministry of Culture to stop digging around the Puri temple | Bhubaneswar News

BHUBANESWAR: MP for Bhubaneswar, Aparajita Sarangi, on Thursday called for the intervention of the Union Ministry of Culture to stop the “illegal” digging works around the Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri as part of the heritage corridor project .
Highlighting the issue to Lok Sabha, the BJP MP said that a lot of digging work is taking place illegally within the temple compound.
She said the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 (or AMASR Act) prohibits any construction work within 100 meters of ancient monuments covered by the act. Similarly, permission from the National Monuments Authority (NMA) is required for restricted areas from 100 meters to 200 meters. However, unauthorized digging works in prohibited and restricted areas are taking place.
The bureaucrat-turned-legislator, who on Wednesday discussed the issue with DG V Didyavati of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), pointed to three major shortcomings. She said the state government did not include anyone from Archaeological Survey of India in the advisory committee formed for the work of the heritage project. Secondly, the project impact study has not been carried out. Finally, ground-penetrating radar prospecting, a prerequisite for such work, was not undertaken.
Disputing Aparajita’s claims, Puri BJD MP Pinaki Mishra said the work was in progress with NMA’s certificate of no objection. The UPS is also associated with all work in progress. In addition, no digging work is in progress there. Only four toilets are under construction. There is no question of harming the sanctuary, he said.
Sarangi, when contacted, said she was not against the development. “However, any development work must be undertaken following the law of the land. Careless digging poses a danger to the sanctuary. Who will be held responsible if the structure is damaged? Puri being one of the four dhams of Hinduism has a special place in people’s hearts and minds,” she said.
Sarangi said there was no question of permission from the NMA since work within 100 meters is totally prohibited. No one can give permission for this.
Days after returning as CM for the fifth uninterrupted term in 2019, Naveen had announced the Heritage Corridor Project for Puri Temple as part of the government’s vision to transform Puri into a world-class heritage city, the government said. A parallel is drawn between the Puri heritage project, called the Srimandir Parikrama project and the Kashi Vishwanath project in Uttar Pradesh in its idea and scope.
The Rs 800 crore Parikrama project provides a secure lush green space around the temple (Heritage Security Zone), wide corridors inside and outside the shrine for worshipers’ spiritual walks, renovation of old pooches in plus modern amenities for visitors.