Orissa HC Restrains Govt From Demolition Around Lingaraj Temple

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has restrained the state government from demolition of structures around Linagaraj Temple in the city under the Ekamra Kshetra Amenities and Monuments Revival Action Plan.

One Janmejaya Kar had filed a petition in the high court challenging the action of the authorities who had allegedly threatened him of demolishing his residential house.  When the petition came up for hearing on Monday, the counsel for the petitioner submitted that the district administration forcibly demolished his residential house on November 8 without following due process of law and making any settlement under the rehabilitation and resettlement policy announced by the government under the project, according to a TNIE report.

Taking serious note of it, a division bench of Justice Sanju Panda and Justice SK Panigrahi observed that a citizen should not be deprived of his property without due process of law.

“We deprecate such action of the state to demolish the house of the petitioner as contended by his counsel. In view of such overt act of the state authorities, we restrain the state government from carrying out any further demolition under Ekamra Kshetra Amenities & Monuments Revival Action Plan without leave of the court,” the Bench said.

The restriction assumes significance as work is underway on around 66 acres surrounding the 11th century temple and Bindu Sagar. The government has already announced projects worth around Rs 700 crore for the project.

As per the government’s rehabilitation and resettlement policy under the Ekamra Kshetra Amenities & Monuments Revival Action Plan, residential and commercial units having clear title of the land would be acquired through direct purchase method. There shall be an option to provide land instead of compensation amount equivalent to market value of the land to be acquired.

Besides, an assistance of Rs 1 lakh per family will be provided and Rs 15,000 per month for a period of 12 months from the date of acquisition of property.

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