Odisha: NMA Issues ‘No Objection’ For Ekamra Kshetra, Konark Heritage Plans With Riders

Bhubaneswar: Along with Shree Mandira Parikrama (Puri heritage corridor) project, the Odisha government’s ambitious heritage development and beautification plans at Ekamra Kshetra in Bhubaneswar and around Sun Temple at Konark have received the green light from National Monument Authority (NMA).

The NMA under the Culture Ministry issued a ‘No-Objection’ to execute developmental works in the prohibited zone of Lingaraj Temple in its special agenda meeting held earlier this month after Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation (OBCC) submitted a revised Detailed Project Report (DPR) with it. Construction of a heritage park (which was earlier proposed as a cultural plaza), Lingaraj multimodal hub, an entrance plaza for Lingaraj temple, Kedar Gauri plaza, Lingaraj haat and a bhajan mandap have been approved, sources said.

In a letter to the Director, Culture Department, Bhaskar Verma, the member secretary of NMA said the works may be executed under the supervision of ASI to mitigate any adverse impact on the protected monuments.  The letter further said all excavation works proposed to be carried out as part of the developmental project may be undertaken under the supervision of ASI in the interest of the safety of any archaeological remains or artefacts that may be unearthed. He also asked the government to comply with some conditions:

– All new structures to be constructed should be non-intrusive and devoid any heavy architecture

– All new structures to be constructed may be temporary structures wherever possible

– Locally available building materials should be used in the construction work for harmony with the existing landscape

– Use of heavy machinery for digging work should be avoided to mitigate the adverse impact on account of vibration on the protected monuments and the digging work should be done manually or with the help of light machinery under the supervision of ASI

The NMA has also recommended construction of an alternate alignment for the road widening between Makareswar Temple and Papanasini tank to minimise the adverse impact on the protected monuments in the area. No development work, however, will be carried out at Sari Deula till excavation at the site is underway.

Similarly, the NMA has allowed for construction of a foot overbridge, multi-model transit hub, boulevard, landscaped plaza and information centre in the regulated area at Konark.

A rain garden, landscape plaza, shuttle pick-up and drop facility and shuttle lane have also been permitted near the 13th century World Heritage Site under the exception clause to the definition of construction under Section 2(dc) of AMASR Act, 1958, the sources added.


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