Puri: The managing committee of Shree Jagannath Temple Authority (SJTA) on Monday approved the Shree Jagannatha Heritage Corridor (SJHC) which proposes to redevelop the surroundings of the 12th century shrine here.
The managing committee, chaired by Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, acquiesced to a proposal to beautify and develop the 75-metre corridor around the temple’s boundary walks (Meghanada Pacheri), set up the Shree Jagannath Reception Centre and conserve temples in various mathas in Puri. Most of the mathas are linked with the Jagannath Temple.
The SJHC is a key component of the government’s ABADHA Scheme (Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture) for developing Puri as a ‘World Class Heritage City’.
Some of the key project under the scheme is development of SJHC corridor around the temple. The project aims to provide expansive, unobstructed corridors around Meghanada Pacheri for giving an opportunity to devotees and pilgrims to have visual connect with the temple, Neelchakra and Meghanada Pacheri.
The heritage corridor components are: Shree Jagannatha reception centre, amenities and matha temples.
The proposal divides the heritage corridor into 9 layers: A green buffer surrounding the temple complex; Antar Pradakshina path; landscape zone; Bahya Pradakshina path; public convenience zone; service lane; shuttle-cum-emergency lane; mixed traffic lane and pedestrian footpath.
“Now that the managing committee has given its go-ahead, we will place the plan for approval from competent and statutory authorities, ” SJTA Chief Administrator Dr Krishan Kumar told Odisha Bytes. “We expect to get the approvals and start work from June 1,” he added.
The development comes amid a raging row over the National Monuments Authority’s formulating draft bylaws for regulating development around centrally centrally protected monuments in Puri and Bhubaneswar. The Centre has kept the draft bylaws concerning the Jagannath Temple in Puri on hold following a demand from the state government and other stakeholders. However, it is yet to take any action on a similar demand being made for Ananta Basudeva and Bramheswara temples in the capital city.