Puri Heritage Corridor: Court Issues Notice To Culture Ministry & Several Authorities

Puri: In another legal turn to heritage corridor issue, Civil Judge Senior Division court, here, issued notices Ministry of Culture, NMA, ASI and others on Friday. Two days earlier, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court had directed police to register criminal case against several authorities in this connection.

Admitting the petition filed by the Puri Lawyers’ Association, the Civil Judge Senior Division court issued notices to district collector, Puri Municipality, TATA Projects Ltd, Odisha Bridge & Construction Corporation (OBCC) and chief administrator of Shree Jagannatha Temple Administration (STJA).

The court directed the respondents to file their replies and fixed next date of hearing on June 26.

On Wednesday, the SDJM court had directed Singhadwar police to register criminal cases against district collector, OBCC and Tata Projects. The court issued the direction after hearing a petition filed by Puri Bar Association stating that Singhadwar police had turned down the complaint regarding illegal work being carried out in violation of the Archaeological Survey of India guidelines in the protected and prohibited areas of the national heritage site of Jagannath Temple.

On Monday, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) submitted before Orissa High Court that the work on heritage corridor was being carried out without valid permission and might have caused damage to the 12th-century temple.

On the direction of the High Court following submission of the ASI, Odisha government decided to shift the proposed reception centre, part of the Heritage Corridor project, out of the 100-metre prohibited zone. Besides, the outer access road to the project will be moved out of the prohibited area and constructed after acquisition of more land.

Tata Projects Limited is executing the Shree Mandira Parikrama Project around the temple under the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture (ABADHA) scheme with an investment of Rs 331 crore.

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