Heritage Draft Bylaws: Now, Sahasralinga Tank In Bhubaneswar Under NMA Scanner

Bhubaneswar: Notwithstanding last year’s Ananta Basudeva fiasco, the National Monuments Authority (NMA) has come up with heritage draft bylaws for Sahasralinga Tank (Devipadaara Kunda), 10 metres from Lingaraj Temple in the Odisha capital.

The tank is protected by the Archeological Survey of India and earmarked as a special heritage Zone in the comprehensive development plan of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority.

It also falls under the 66-acre Ekamra Khestra Yojana of the Odisha government. Under this plan, historic water tanks in the Old Town area of the city,  including Sahasralinga Tank, Papanasini Kunda, Godabari, Kotirtha Tank and Ganga Jamuna Kunda, will be revived and preserved, modern parking space will be created at four places along with an e-auto programme, Lingaraj Temple, Kedar Gouri and Muketswara temple premises will be developed and a heritage interpretation centre will be set up.

Also Read: NMA Bylaws For Odisha’s Ekamra Kshetra A Farce: BJD

The draft rules are likely to hamper the progress of the project as it prescribes that an area of 100 metre (buffer zone) around the ASI-protected structure would be declared as ‘prohibited area’, where no new construction of any kind, either by government or private agencies, would be permitted. A further 200 metre in all directions would be ‘regulated area’ where construction is not prohibited but must be approved by the NMA.

Also Read: Odisha Wins! Centre Puts Controversial Heritage Bylaws On Hold


The centrally-protected monument was once surrounded by small pidha temples, on its four sides. At present, there are seventy-seven miniature temples, of which, only five lingas are being worshipped. The tank has a flight of steps all around and built for the ritualistic purpose of Lord Lingaraja.


East, south-east and south of the prohibited and regulated areas are mostly residential. Some public zones are also there like temples, market complexes. Ananta Basudeva Temple and Bindu Sagar Lake are situated on the north side of the tank and on the west and southwest corner of this tank, Lingaraj Temple is situated. Also, city roads, cart tracks, footpaths are present all around the prohibited and regulated areas of the monument.


> The front building edge shall strictly follow the existing street line. The minimum open space requirements need to be achieved with setbacks or internal courtyards and terraces.

> No steps and plinths shall be permitted into the right of way at a ground level beyond the “obstruction-free‟ path of the street. The streets shall be provided with the “obstruction-free‟ path dimensions measuring from the present building edge line.

> LED or digital signs, plastic fibreglass or any other highly reflective synthetic material may not be used for signage in the heritage area. Banners may not be permitted, but for special events/fair etc. it may not be put up for more than three days. No advertisements in the form of hoardings, bills within the heritage zone will be permitted.

> Signages should be placed in such a way that they do not block the view of any heritage structure or monument and are oriented towards a pedestrian.

> Hawkers and vendors may not be allowed on the periphery of the monument.

> Extensive public awareness programme may be conducted.

> Provisions for differently-abled persons shall be provided as per prescribed standards.

> The area shall be declared as a plastic and polythene-free zone.

The NMA has invited suggestions on it till July 15.

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