Odisha MP wants CM to clear air over heritage development works

Bhubaneswar: In a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, BJP Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi raised questions over the heritage development work carried out by the State government in Shree Kshetra in Puri and Ekamra Kshetra in Bhubaneswar.

Sarangi asked as to why she was not consulted by the State government on the development plan in the Ekamra Kshetra area despite the fact she is an elected MP from Bhubaneswar. Also, she questioned the reason behind demolition of mathas with historical significance in Puri for the beautification project around the Shree Jagannatha Temple.

The Parliamentarian suggested some measures in the letter to clear the air about the two development projects in Puri and Bhubanewar.

She requested the Chief Minister in the letter to set up a committee consisting of senior officials of ASI, Archaeology Department of the State government, representatives of INTACH and a few conservationists to assess the scale of destruction and examine whether existing laws have been violated or not.

“In case the existing laws have been violated, accountability must be fixed and the people responsible for destruction of centuries old heritage and legacy must be taken action against,” the letter read.

She wanted the CM to find out whether detailed mapping exercise of all heritage structures has been done or not.

Reconstruct the mathas and Raghunadan Library at a suitable place by keeping the old architectural design intact. The announcement in this regard may be done at the earliest, she demanded in the letter.

She also urged the government to involve Odisha-based architectural firms with experience in heritage development and heritage conservation to prepare development plan which is adhering to the AMSAR Act, 1958 and the National Monument Authority’s (NMA) requirements.

Sarangi alleged the draft by-laws issue is being raised to divert the attention from careless demolition of heritage structures and failure to prepare an architectural and development plan in conformity with the existing laws. She also questioned why the stakeholders on board were consulted about the development plans in Bhubaneswar and Puri.

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