Orissa HC Imposes Curbs On Photographers At Konark Temple, Allows Lensmen Only With ASI Licence

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has imposed restriction on access of professional photographers to premises of Sun Temple at Konark in Puri district by ruling that only those having licence from ASI are allowed.

Hearing a petition, filed by photographers who have licence issued by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to do business in the Sun temple precincts, a single judge bench of the High Court comprising Justice Arindam Sinha said besides tourists, only those having valid licence for carrying out photography in precincts of the protected temple are allowed to enter.

“This must be complied with by ASI with assistance of the administration. The necessity for compliance cannot be overemphasised because such monuments are ancient and therefore need to be protected,” TNIE quoted Justice Sinha as saying in his order on Wednesday.

Justice Sinha issued the order after taking into consideration the affidavit filed by Superintending Archeologist of ASI (Bhubaneswar Circle) Arun Malik and submission of ASI’s counsel Chandrakanta Pradhan.

Malik in his affidavit said the Regional Director (eastern region), Kolkata had carried out selection of photographers as per the process and selected 10 candidates in January 2019. The selected photographers has been issued licence for carrying out photography business at the temple.

He further said the Tourism department had also intimated that it has not issued licence to any professional photographer for the purpose.

The petitioners had sought the High Court’s intervention alleging that unchecked access of photographers without licence was affecting their livelihood. More than 100 photographers operate in the 13th century world heritage site.

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