Eviction Drive Near Lingaraj Temple Put On Hold

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Bhubaneswar: The eviction drive around the Lingaraj Temple here was put on hold on Tuesday following protests from locals, several trading establishments, and local leaders.

“It was decided that a 10-member delegation of the servitor’s bodies of the temple, Lingaraj Cultural Association and the Citizen’s Forum will have a meeting with the deputy commissioner, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) tomorrow,” said a BMC official told the media here.

Protesting against the eviction drive by the BMC and the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), several trading establishments, locals and the local leaders staged a dharna near the Lingaraj police station this morning.

“We condemn the manner of eviction being undertaken by the administration around the 11th century temple in the Old Town area. Before launching the eviction drive, the administration should have discussed with the local people and the roadside vendors. The administration should apprise the people of the area around the temple periphery, which will be taken up for the beautification on the lines of Jagannath Temple in Puri,” BJP state vice-president Samir Mohanty told the media here.

Expressing resentment, Congress leader Suresh Routray demanded action against the authorities who had demolished the Bhajan Mandap near the temple yesterday. “We demand the reconstruction of the Manmdap and immediate action against the concerned officials,” he pointed out.

Notably, the administration had demolished 56 roadside shops, four temporary huts and Bhajan Mandap along the stretch from Simhadwar of the temple to the power sub-station on Monday.

The eviction drive was scheduled to begin from the power sub-station along the road of the Bindusagar tank on Tuesday.

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