Bhubaneswar MP Plea to Odisha CM To Stop Demolition Of Heritage Structures

Bhubaneswar: BJP leader and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi on Sunday reiterated that development works in Shree Khetra in Puri and Emakra Kshetra in Puri should be taken up but not at the cost of heritage structures.

In a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the MP said she had extensively toured the areas proposed for development, particularly around the Jagannath temple in Puri and Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar and interacted with stakeholders including the sevayats and household members.

During her visit, Sarangi stated that she found a lot of heritage structures had been demolished “in the name of beautification”. She blamed the architectural firms which were empanelled for preparing development plans for Puri and Ekamra Kshetra heritage projects.

Besides, the displaced people have not been paid the promised compensation apart from the token amount paid before the demolition of their structures, Sarangi said.

“Considering the situation, I think the recent hullabaloo relating to the draft bylaws was nothing but a diversionary tactics to deflect the attention from such careless demolition of heritage structures, inability to carry the stakeholders on board and inability to prepare an architecture/development plan which conforms to the provisions of AMSAR Act, 1958,” said the MP.

She requested the chief minister to set up a committee consisting of senior officers of ASI, Archaeology department of the state government, representatives of INTACH and heritage conservationists to assess the scale of destruction and determine whether existing laws have been violated or not. If the committee finds violation of any law, the accountability must be fixed, she added.

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